1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Archive for the tag “Rhythm Records”

Staan My By My Bra – Radio Kalahari Orkes

Staan My By My Bra – Radio Kalahari Orkes (Boo!tiful)

Heuningland – Radio Kalahari Orkes

Heuningland – Radio Kalahari Orkes

There’s a bit of the Travelling Wilburys about Radio Kalahari Orkes (“RKO”). Not so much in the sound, but it’s a bunch of ‘old enough to have fathered a boy band’ age guys getting together to make music. The big difference is that, unlike the Wilburys, RKO members include an actor and a journalist.

Now before you go off bemoaning the fact that these types should not be meddling in the music business, I might just point out to you The Aeroplanes who roped in actors Sean Taylor, David Butler and Nicky Rebelo for their masterpiece album ‘The Aeroplanes’, and Johannes Kerkorrel was a journalist before revolutionising Afrikaans music. So Ian Roberts (he of the ‘Ja, Swaar’ TV ad and starred in the movie Tsotsi, to name a few roles) and Rian Malan (author of ‘My Traitor’s Heart’) should not be written off as indulging their musical whims. They may not revolutionise the music scene, but the anthemic ‘Staan My By’ is worthy of inclusion in this list.

The song starts off with a bit of the boere squash box going, but quickly introduces a strong beat and guitar driven pulse that is bold and full. But perhaps it is inviting Chris Chameleon to guest on vocals that was the stroke of genius that makes the song. His higher pitch plays nicely against the growling of Roberts and Malan and soars on the rousing chorus which may have sounded a bit flat without this. It’s not that Chameleon steals the show here, but the synergies between him and the band make for a great song.

Where to find it:
Heuningland – Radio Kalahari Orkes (2009), Rhythm Records, RR1100


Against All Odds – aKING

Against All Odds – aKING (Don’t bet against this one)

Against All Odds by aKING

Against All Odds by aKING

No, this is not a cover of the Phil Collins song from the movie of the same name, rather it is a melodic, solid rock song with neat guitar work, tight drumming and a heartfelt vocal delivery. When Fokofpolisiekar did as it was told, Hunter Kennedy and Jaco Venter were aching (did you see what I did there?) to make music under a different guise, so they formed aKING and have made a success of it.

It might just be me, but is there a resemblance between the opening guitar riff of Against All Odds and Baxtop’s JoBangles. If you took the funk out of the guitar intro to JoBangles and made it rock, you’ll see what I mean. Not that I’m saying Baxtop should be calling their lawyers, we don’t need another ‘Kookaburra’ vs ‘Down Under’ here.

Part of the video for the song (see below) was shot in one of my favourite record shops, Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town, but be warned, it does open up with a guy dancing around in his underpants. Perhaps that’s one of the ‘odds’ you’re up against, for it is very odd. But as distracting (and disconcerting) as it is, don’t let it deter you from the strength of the song.

Where to find it:

Against All Odds – aKING (2009), Rhythm Records, RR100


curious and cautious
in a stagger on my heart’s track
how vast the world was
by the lights of lime we gather
inflamed like moths to a fire

nauseous like lovers
tripping on the heart’s trap
the gullible uncovered
a faint radiance
two dullards finding their colour

against all odds
caught between a curve and a soft spot
against all odds
unraveled in each other’s arms

in a state of undress
how shy it was to touch
uneven out the evening
discreetly mocking the morning

struck by the moon I threw myself over
the night has a rainbow mutely hovering

weightless under covers
slip into the heart’s lap
zealously juvenile
an old-fashioned raucous promise
nestles beneath the bravado


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