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Cape Town Creatives at Swimming Upstream

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

A few familiar faces from overtone were showcased in a exhibition that ran throughout November at the Grand Daddy Hotel. Inspired by the photographer kathalijne van zutphen’s own creative journey she profiled up and coming Cape Town Creatives.

Here is what they had to say:

“You need to think out of the box. I think it is great that people take things for free. One can approach the corporates in order to make money there by performing, giving talks et cetera. You can also sell yourself as a brand; sell earrings, clothes, all sorts of merchandise. I think artists should work together more – as in where we perform another artist can sell their jewellery for example. There is so much space to succeed, why not help each other? We really do need to pay it forward.” (Verity Price)

artwork available*

“I have never had a big problem with people downloading our music. You need to get your product out there, it is a way of promoting yourself, at this phase it is anyway. Like I said, people who buy our cd’s usually have seen us live and then end up buying the cd. I think you just need to make it work for you” (Donovan Copley)

artwork available*

“Not everything online is for free. You can copy, steal or do whatever and that has happened to me, but nothing is original anyway. Everybody uses other people´s work as a reference or inspiration. And more often than not, the people who steal your work do a crap job anyway. I think you need to relax about these things. I hate piracy of music though. I pay for all the music I listen to.” (Toby Attwell)

artwork available*

And lastly, Overtone’s very own CEO, Tristan Wayerkeyn was also profiled:

“If you want to make it you have to learn. Go to shops, look at the marketing and advertising in magazines, look at photography and type fonts, at the lay-out, if you have a question, learn to Google it. There is so much information out there, use it. ” (Tristan Waterkeyn)

artwork available*

Spread the message and support local creatives.

If you would like to purchase any of these prints please contract  www.kathalijne.com

pricing :: between R2,000-4,000

Posted in Artist Interviews, Music Features, SA Music | No Comments »

Hot Water: One

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Is another South African cultural crossover album what we need? Since before Mango Groove were even ripe, South African music has been steadily working to undo the ‘you there, me here’ pattern of past ages. Now that Freshlyground have seated themselves on the throne of local export pop, bands like Hot Water have translated their home influence into a gloriously listenable afro-jive-rock album entitled One.

Hot Water: One

Hot Water’s second full-length album, One (surely it should be ‘Two’ – sorry), is pretty much the closest thing we’re gonna get to gospel without the discomfort of being blared full-power from a speaker above your head on an overnight bus through the Transkei.

Hot Water
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But the country influence is there. Djembe backing, ethnic harmonies and the playful three-chord jams typical of Southern African theory. From between the headphones, we can almost see band/collective frontman Donovan Copley adorned as some hybrid between Sir David Livingston and a can-blasting hillbilly from the outskirts of East London. Nice shot.

The album is somewhat unpredictable. Opening track Jamanga and first single Shushu are welcome African ass-shaking jive tunes. But anywhere in between, you may find forlorn love (My Lady), hollow, vocal-free jamming on some Swiss instrument called a ‘hang’ (Hang On) or a wistful ballad to encroaching spiritual unity (One Name).

The album title gives it away: Hot Water’s songwriting comes from a very spiritual place, but one that somehow takes the words of protest from your mouth before you can realise that it’s all deeply rooted in personal truth (Peace, Mother Mary). In other words, an album that dutifully fulfils one of the primary functions of art: to deliver a message.

The iconic savannah tree imagery on the garish album art salvages an otherwise basic visual appeal, but what we’re after here are the tunes. Animated Disney-singalong number Home is Generation Two Freshlyground all the way, complete with Mowbray Kaap-styled whistles and catchy pop guitar licks. Refreshingly real stuff from a band defying the plastic-pop environment like a herd of cantankerous buffalo.

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  • Posted in Album Reviews | 1 Comment »

    Hot Water On The Boil With New Album

    Monday, January 28th, 2008

    Wanna know what South African music is? Afro-rock collective Hot Water had its fans (and their kids, dogs and mothers) trekking an hour to participate in a vibrant, on-your-feet show on a cooking Cape day at The Farmhouse, one of the only country establishments around that’s actually willing to disturb the peace…

    Hot Water

    Is it just us, or is it Freshlyground Generation Two? In the last few weeks alone, we’ve come across all these mad bands mashing up traditional black ethnic harmony-lines and djembe solos with buttoned-down mellow acoustic vibes and unabashed three-chord pop-rock. Tucan Tucan, with their Argentinean keyboardist, Kaapse lead singer and hotchpotch crew of…everything. Mike McCullagh’s crew of classical pop-punting clowns, Khoisan opera singers, The Rudimentals, Alan Funk and now this: Amanzi Amazshushu (Hot Water) showing off a new petri dish of diversity with their second album, One. Let’s call it Year 14 Rock.

    Hot Water at the Farmhouse
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    African flavour just got MSG’d. The lively, 7-10 piece (informal) collective has indeed come home. Heavy on the positive vibes ["hey bra, like, the album's called, like, 'One', hey"], Hot Water kicked off the show with a super-gradual jam session. One by one, the bassist, drummer, “Themba on the djembe”, keyboardist, backing vocalist and percussionists joined the stage, some of them only coming on an hour from the first chords. Beautiful technique, perfectly suited to the relaxed, family-fun, outdoor, laid-back, ‘no-drugs-but-booze’ atmosphere of the Cape Farmhouse. (Sidenote: since when did farms become live music venues? What a sweet trip, chilling on a hay bale in the sun instead of a plastic chair in the dark moaning about life and cigarettes. Indie rock beware…)

    The bushfires around sleepy seaside Cape Town village Scarborough shelled about eight houses over the weekend, and sometime into the marathon two and a half hour set, bandleader Donovan Copley got us all to put our heads down in a thirty seconds’ silence. “I think thirty seconds of silence can’t be a bad thing.” Then we got back into a song about bushfires.

    The Farmhouse Charm. The Charmhouse.

    Since we last saw em, Hot Water have kept the surprises coming. Even with an above average knowledge of music, I’d been pleasantly confused at the playing of the Hang. It’s a Swiss instrument which means ‘hand’ and watching Copley and backing vocalist Leon Visser play it sounds and looks like something out of a séance in Teletubby land. Cellist Barbara Kennedy was also a pleasant albeit brief touch.

    It was a media frenzy. The photo-buddy and I met up with about fifty independent groups of journalist types, which is a nice, round (albeit exaggerated) number. But you get the idea. We could have moored a oil tanker by tying all the camera cables together. In fact, since first touching base with them, I’ve learned that this is indeed a band that is grasping for abundant commercial potential while still remaining true to the sound of South Africa. After a few words…erm, “backstage” (behind the barn) with Visser, I learned that he earned his place as backing vocalist by leaving behind a less serious band and concentrating on being more focused and driven as a musician. In other words, keep an ear out; Hot Water is on the boil.

  • Cool Evening With Hot Water
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  • Hot Water fill-in drummer Devin Jones was also the man behind the kit for recently disbanded carnival rock outfit Verismo, and now plays with The Jack Mantis Band
  • Assistant album producer Galen Hossack is one of the guys behind LoadTheShow.co.za, the only site in South Africa which offers both free MP3 downloads and pays their artists (ok, we’re in business with them. But check it out anyway…)
  • Donovan‘s sister Marisa designed the album cover

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »