Safindit Daily|December 21, 2011 8:57 am

Local Sounds in your Stocking

Spoek Mathambo

In keeping with our proudly South African theme, we are happy to bring you our personal selection of must-buy local albums for the festive season. If you’re going to buy music, buy something local.

South Africa’s musicians largely exist on a dangerous precipice where they are often fighting for survival and on the brink of throwing in the towel. Buying their albums and going to see their shows is the only way we will continue to have a growing and dynamic music industry, so support websites like Rhythm Online, (where you can buy all your favourite local music for R7 a song!), Musica Online and Look & Listen Online.

Our picks for this seasons best buys include mostly albums from 2011, but also a few older ones that really shouldn’t be missed!

1. Pop-Rock
Wrestlerish have recently released their second album, Towns, which is creeping its’ way up the local charts and is rumoured to be even better than their previous album.  Plush  also released a self-titled gem in 2011 which continues to gather critical praise from all walks. Another great local pop-indie-rock concoction of 2011 comes from The Black Hotels with Honey Badger -- certainly worth a listen. Lastly, if you like your pop-rock light and Afrikaans, you could check out Die Tuindwergies, who scooped several MK Awards this year following their self-titled release.


2. Rock

No list of SA rock bands would be complete without the obligatory Bellville rock squad. This year it was the turn of aKING and Die Heuwels Fantasties to release new albums in the form of Red Blooded Years and Wilder as Die Wildtuin. Just this month Van Coke Kartel embarks on a nationwide tour to promote their latest release Wie’s Bang?, which should be hitting stores as we speak.  New Holland‘s Exploded Views is a slightly older offering but a goodie nonetheless. And if you’re keen on the indie rock sound, we can also suggest The Graeme Watkins Project’s Corridors of the Mind and the Dirty Skirts latest release,  Lost in the Fall, which has been hailed as their best work yet.

Tumi & the Volume

3. Hip-hop/ Rap

Depending on which way your hip-hop/ rap leaning go, you’re either going to get excited by Jack Parow’s Eksi Ou -- just released last month, or you’re going to gravitate towards Tumi & the Volume’s Pick a Dream. Somewhere off to the left side you’ll find Bittereinder -- dark and aggressive but powerful.  Ben Sharpa could be just what you need to beef up your underground collection or perhaps some Ill-Literate -Skill would fill the gap.

4. Folk- Acoustic

When it comes to folk, acoustic and blues-based music, sprinkled with some World sounds, the SA landscape is an untapped reserve. So few great artists are heard on the radio and therefore you need to venture out into the music venues or speak to people in the know to find them. Try out the following for starters: Nate Maingard, Fulka, Yoav, Vana, Nibs Van der Spuy, Guy Buttery, Robin Auld (making a great come-back) and Valiant Swart.


5. Afro-soul/ Pop

There’s one name that has been on everyone’s lips this year in this genre -- Zahara. You may even have a hard time finding her debut, Loliwe because its’ so in demand. Her simple style and rough-tinged voice have people comparing her to the greats like Lira and Simphiwe Dana. Other artists in this genre that may take your interest are KB and Nomfusi.

6. Dance/ Electro

An exciting genre in South Africa, there are those that have dominated the charts like Flash Republic and Goodluck, but there are others that could quite easily become your soundtrack for the summer, including Crazy White Boy, Spoek Mathambo, Gazelle and ofcourse… Goldfish.

You will notice that the price of many of these artists albums is somewhat less than what you would pay for an overseas artist -- which is a bonus right away. If you can’t find a link to download the music online, contact the artist via their Facebook page to place an order.


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