Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Things. Good Things

So. We were sitting on some lawn, pretentiously talking about life, and how amazing it would have been if we had been alive around ’67: Songs of Leonard Cohen, Sgt. Pepper…, The Doors. A good year. We spoke about other banal things, including literature (which is not by any stretch of imagination, banal. Blasphemy!); which was when my friend said to me: “You know, I’m not too sure about this Ian McEwan guy”. I said: “Not good? Well, I’m not too sure about this Jane Austen girl. Can you imagine? Had it not been for her, we would not have had these dreadful rom-coms. Oh goodness. No rom-coms? Who doesn’t want to be lied to?” Well, Cass, I’m reading Atonement, I have to say to you, dear friend, that it is quite beautiful. We laughed at our idiotic banter, as fools often do. You’re probably asking yourself what the hell was the point of that story. Geez, man, I don’t know. Probably lies? Yes, lies, and the truth. Here’s more truth coming up: I realize that I have not updated the blog in quite some time. Tsk Tsk. Not good. A lot has been happening though. I shall try to give you guys a condensed update with some really cool links to check out.

1: We are playing Oppikoppi!!! How cool? http://www.oppikoppi.co.za/article/view/nakhane_toure?facebook=0

2: We have made it into the top 10 of the Converse “Get Out Of The Garage” Competition. Out of 138 bands. We think this is quite the achievement. Very excited about this. Vote over here, please: http://on.fb.me/getoutofthegarage

3: We were featured on MTVIggy. A really cool feature was written about the music. Check it out over here: http://www.mtviggy.com/articles/south-africas-nakhane-toure-sounds-out-of-time/ And please vote so that we can be artist of the week over here: http://www.mtviggy.com/blog-posts/artist-of-the-week-vote-for-your-favorite-76/

Hmmm, what else? That’s it for now. Be good. You hear?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Influence #1 on 'Oh David, It's A Sin'

Last week I promised to write about the albums that have influenced me as a musician and my upcoming EP, 'Oh David, It's A Sin'. The first one is 'Kulture Noir' by one Ms. Simphiwe Dana.

I still remember one evening in my uncle's car with two of my cousins in Alice. There was an umcimbi (which is a traditional thingy thang), and all the family had to be there. My family is huge, no one understands this because it is not normal. We have begged them to stop reproducing. It's enough now.Of course no one listens. They keep sexing it up. Tsk tsk. So, it is a need for one to lock himself away in a room or a car to compose himself.

 We were in the car, listening to Simphiwe Dana. I was a teenager, still abnormally obsessed with Marvin Gaye and The O'Jays (I'm still obsessed with Marvin Gaye), and I realised after I shrieked (her voice was and still is too beautiful- it strokes emotions you want hidden away, you can't help but react strangely as this is alien ground meant for secrecy and pillow-thought and talk) and my cousins looked at me like a convulsing epileptic, that I realised I am in love with Simphiwe Dana. She released her second album (One Love Movement On Bantu Biko Street- yes, it's a mouthful) , which was also a stunner, AND THEN came 'Kulture Noir'. A friend had said to me that it was better than both her first two albums combined. I was incredulous. I got hold of it. Lo and behold, the bastard was right. From those first few seconds of 'Ndim Nawe' where she multi-tracks her vocals, singing: "aph' amaqhawe?" to the disappointing fade-out of 'Inkwenkwezi' (disappointing because it fades out too quickly. Why does it fade out so quickly Simphiwe? That's the best part of the song.Tshini!!)

 What really stuck out to me was how reserved this album was. No, it is not conservative, it's not boring either, but she gets complexity through polyrythms and adding layer upon layer of instruments to achieve a lushness to the sound: handclaps, piano, those gorgeous multi-tracked vocals and hand percussion, shunning bombast.. It is the little things:the sometimes hushed, whispered backing vocals, the repetition, quite similar actually to Krautrock (even Funk and Afrobeat), where some songs stay on one level and the sounds move around what is already there, not lifting it to go anywhere else. Here is fine, and the songs know that. Simphiwe Dana knows that.

Then there is her phrasing. Yes, there is jazz there, but she keeps things interesting by drawing out her vowels, and then resolving them with a sigh or by raising those notes, in the process your stomach rises too to a place where you start to feel nervous. You have to experience this.

The comparisons to Erykah Badu are laziness by now, because come on now people. It is not at all the same music, maybe the timbre of their voices, but everything thing else? No ways.

Fela Kuti, Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate('Zobuya Nini Iinkomo'), Miriam Makeba, Black Consciousness are given a few nods. A sort of salutation to the ones who started it, and passed on the baton. Does Simphiwe have competition in South Africa in her field? Maybe not, maybe Thandiswa Mazwai but she's so ahead it is frightening.Yes, I'm gushing.Indulge me. This was not supposed to be objective.

Kulture Noir is a major influence to me as a musician. Please do yourself a favour and get it. You won't be disappointed.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh David, It's A Sin

Hello lovers

So, it has been decided. The upcoming EP shall be called: 'Oh David, It's A Sin'. It will be self-released and is coming out May/June. We are in the final stages of mixing, and soon mastering will be done, then it is all yours. Besides choosing the tracklist, and deciding on a title, I can honestly say that choosing artwork was the hardest part. Things have been narrowed down to two option. I might even use both, then when you buy the EP, you can choose the one you want. One is a sketch by my cousin, Anda Piet, ad the other is a photograph I took of a beach scene in Port Elizabeth, my hometown. Sad January afternoon listening to Joanna Newsom and Loveless.

Here is the tracklist: Note! tracks have been re-recorded
1. As I Crane To See
2. In The Dark Room
3. Abraham
4. White Porno Boy
5. Tisk

I will also be giving you little sneak peaks into the EP, little surprises. Also, I will be writing about the works that influenced the music. Be ready.

Check out the artwork

Artwork by Anda

Beach scene photograph

@nakhanetoure (twitter)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First gig of 2012 at Wolves in Illovo

My first gig in 2012, playing with John and Sean at Wolves. Check out the pictures taken by Gavin Pincus. What a gig it was. Check out this review: 

And this ladies and gentlemen is my first official post.

Sunday, June 5, 2011