EDM, Indie, South Africa

St. Lucia – September

This is definitely one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.

South Africa is blessed to be home to the Drakensberg Boys Choir. They’ve travelled the world leaving audiences in awe every where they go. Jean Grobler is a recent alumni of the school and the face behind St. Lucia. Being a Jozi boy, you KNOW he picked the name because of¬†iSimangaliso Wetland Park which was known as St. Lucia even though he probably tells a different story to the American music press. I find this pretty cool.

Apart from probably the best classical training one could ask for at the school, he left South Africa to study music in Liverpool. After being there, I definitely recommend it as a great place to find inspiration. He then moved to New York and released this KILLER track from his self-titled debut album. I really need to get a copy of this.

The sound harks back to heavy 80s electro. The modern electronics sound like a HUGE trance tune by Armin Van Buurin and John ‘o Callaghan. Then the lyrics hit all I could think of is¬†Depeche Mode, just better. The vocal acrobatics are exciting. The power of the song is immense. I want more and more of his music! Take a listen and see what South Africa can actually produce…

Rock, South Africa

Squeal – Runners

The mid 1990s was the golden era of South African music. There was something that happened after 1994 that gave so many rock bands this great hope and inspiration. The scene was tough and the only outlet you had on radio (remember, there was no real campus or online radio back then) was during Barney Simons Night Zoo weekdays on 5fm at 22:00. I was pre-pubescent but I listened to this show religiously. Well, at least the first hour. Even as a kid, staying up past 23:00 was very difficult. Barney once played my selection on “You say it, I play it.” This was done via post and at the time, I was the youngest person to get onto the show. It was quite a proud moment in my life. The cassette recording of this exists somewhere.

He had a passion for great rock music and great local music. Being too young to go to gigs, this was my personal outlet. Well this and Top 40 magazine. I still have my copies stashed away somewhere in Durban. One of the bands I DID see play live was Squeal. I went along with my folks to the Bat Centre in Durban and well, Squeal played. It was my first gig. I loved it. I loved it to bits.

The band itself was fronted by the legendary Dave Birch. His lyrics sometimes (well, most of the time) made no sense but he had the true passion of a rock star. Their “Long Pig” debut album is seen by many a person as one of the best albums of the 1990s. What happened to them? Well, you could say they were before their time. Or just in the wrong country. But if they did not exist, the quality of music coming out of the country currently would be far worse. Here’s their title track to the album.