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PASS Invites Volunteers | Pan-African Radio Station

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Pan African Space Station (PASS) which is set to blow into action in a few months time is inviting friends, DJs and all music lovers to a talk/planning meeting by Neo Muyanga and Ntone Edjabe, curators of the upcoming Pan African Space Station (PASS) ? a 4-day music intervention from October 1-4, 2008 across Cape Town.

Creating the space.

Overtone attended one of their planning meetings a week ago, and by the sounds of things, we’re well on track to launch a 30-day radio station that broadcasts music and content which reflects the true essence of SOUTH AFRICAN CULTURE. Check out the post here.

One of the headline acts of PASS is a unique and non-profit radio station that will broadcast 30 days of music from global Africa to the greater Cape Town. This will be a true meeting place for the diverse music audiences in the city. DJs, musicians and, generally, music lovers will from all of Cape Town’s music communities are invited to participate in the project.

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PASS Festival Launches Radio Station Plan

Friday, June 13th, 2008

You know those Internet petitions that hit your inbox, urgently pleading for you to add your name to some list? Those ones, right? Oftimes I wonder where they’re from, where they go, and who benefits. So in response to a petition I received late yesterday evening, I attended a dialogue by a Spier-backed group launching a 30-day radio station in August as part of the Pan African Space Station festival, celebrating cultural unity amongst Africans.

In their words:Creating the space.

One of the headline acts of the festival will be a unique radio station that will broadcast 30 days of cutting edge music from global Africa to the greater Cape Town. This will be a true meeting place for the diverse music audiences in the city. Volunteer DJs, hosts and producers will be welcome to participate from all of Cape Town’s music communities. PASS radio will broadcast from studios in the city centre and live from the city’s public spaces: malls, gardens, community centres, and clubs before and throughout the music festival. PASS radio will be non-profit and will not broadcast commercial adverts. PASS radio will launch online in August and intends to migrate to FM radio during September-October. Thereafter, broadcasting will continue online.

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Spaced Africans At African Space

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

A night of free music! No, well, the door charged (as well it should have, cos the gig was great), but the music was free in the sense that all the artists taking to the tented stage of Distrix Cafe in Cape Town came to the party unprepared. Total improvisation made African Space Program – presented by Chimurenga Magazine – a party for musicians.

African Space Program
The Struggle: Also known as the Bar Queue.

I live up the road from this spot, and I drive past the faces of Steve Biko, Cissie Gool, Nelson Mandela and Imam Haron every day wondering what the place is like inside. It has a giant, bright yellow Bedouin tent stretched under the large artwork. Just across the road from the old Castle, Distrix Cafe looks more like a vegetable garden than a nightspot from the outside. It lies just on the outskirts of an area known as District Six.

Step in off the street, and you’ll enter a bar/foyer with a piano in the background and an unglamorous, authentic crowd chatting around the L-shape. The outside area was green, flanked with shrubberies. Another small bar at the back. Broken mosaic stones embedded in concrete decorated the floor, like the splintered communities that left the area fourty years ago.

Picking up a few of the familiar faces from the long, weekend, I shoved my way through the bouncey, clappy crowd to the mainstage of the joint. Yoel from Runway Music – one of the speakers at our last monthly meeting – passed through briefly. Ever-elegant Freshlyground violinist Kyla Rose stood poised on the sidelines of the stage, waiting for the inspiration to join in. Nice to see her again after her showing with Kolo Novo Movie Band at Balkanology the night before. Babu’s Kesivan Naidoo pounded the drum kit, clearly warming up for the Cape Town International Jazz Fest next week. Good people, doing what
they love.

These commonplace moments are what the scene is about for me. I crave music that speaks to musicians. Sax player Buddy Wells knows what I mean. You could see it on his face. Chimurenga is a Shona word roughly meaning “struggle”. It’s about the struggle for human rights, political dignity and social justice, and more loosely about striving to overcome, to succeed, to express. White, hard-spined A5 magazines were on sale. Weeks of cultural insight for just R75. Knowledge with a price tag. Purpose. With an edgy, jazzy soundtrack.


Thomas Mapfumo is the guy who pioneered Chimurenga as a music by mixing African rhythmic patterns and instruments such as the mbira with Western instruments like the guitar.



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Gig: African Space Program

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

We launch the double issue Chimurenga 12/13, Dr. Satan’s Echo Chamber, on Sharpeville Day (Human Rights Day), March 21, 2008 at Distrix Cafe in Kaisergraght St, Cape Town.

Chimurenga

An all-improv session of sound and visuals featuring: Robbie Jansen; Kesivan Naidoo; Moreira Chonguica; Kyla Rose Smith; Teba the OSW; The General S’bu; Helder Gonzaga; Toni Paco; Stacy Hardy; Jazzart Dance Theatre; Buddy Wells; Fong Kong Bantu Soundsystem and Neo Muyanga. We called it African Space Program, after the man who runs the school of sevens next door.



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Interview: Achimota

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

There are enough bands out there with good music, but if passion is not part of the package, you may as well pack up and go home. Fortunately for Southern African music, Chimuranga outfit Achimota has got the beat cut out for them. Overtone addresses the traditional side of the music scene…

Achimota on Overtone

what style of music do you play ?

Light traditional African marimba music

Since when have you been playing?

We have been playing for about five years

Who are your influences? What rocks your boat?

Chimurenga Zimbabwean music, reggae, traditional SA music

Whats your ideal venue to play at?

Somewhere where a lot of people can dance to our music, usually at venues with mainly black people

Why do you do it? What drives you to music?

The same reason as we breathe. There is no life without music! Self-expression liberates the soul …




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