1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Wingerd Rock”

Jannie Cocaine – Akkedis

Voortvlugtend - Akkedis

Voortvlugtend –
Akkedis

It’s trippy, it swirls and disorientates…that is until about 20 seconds in when the drums start a-pounding and the guitar start a-blaring and whichever of the Dennis brothers it is that takes lead vocals on this, start a-growling. But then instead of deteriorating into a barrage of noise, it reaches a plateau and sort of relaxes on an uneasy rock bed. From then on, the melodic verses fight with the tumbling chorus.

Akkedis first came to our attention as The Dennis Brothers on the Wingerd Rock CD’s which highlighted the burgeoning talent in Stellenbosch. Dropping the ‘brothers’ thing, they morphed into Akkedis and brought us first ‘Husse Met Lang Ore’ and the brilliant follow up ‘Voortvlugtend’ on which ‘Jannie Cocaine’ closes proceedings and leaves you feeling slightly ill at ease. Like Neil Young’s ‘The Needle And The Damage Done’ where the focus is on the effect of drugs on a friend rather than being an out and aout anti drug song per se.

The guitars, at times abrasive, are somewhat at odds with the vocals that, apart from singing the song title, seem laidback and a bit spaced. But don’t be deceived, there is a menace underlying the voice, a disturbing edge that is in itself almost addictive. The song comes full circle where, after the rock/melody of chorus/verse, it retuns to the intro sounds where it disorientastes, it swirls and it’s trippy.

Where to find it:
Voortvlugtend – Akkedis (2001), SSS Records, SSS001

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Beethoven Is Dying – Koos Kombuis

Beethoven Is Dying – Koos Kombuis

Wingerd Rock 1

Wingerd Rock 1

This is not one of Koos’ better know songs. It appeared on the first of the two Wingerd Rock compilations and is dedicated to the late James Phillips whom Koos toured extensively with during the Voelvry period. Now perhaps one can argue that James Phillips was nothing like Beethoven, but that would be missing the point. Koos is not saying that James was a classical composer, or that his music would be played 400 years after his death, but rather he is recognising and paying homage to the fact that James, in Koos’ (and those of a lot of South African music fan’s) eyes was a genius.

There is a similar feel to this song as there is to Koos’ ‘Who Killed Kurt Cobain’ in that there is an anger that people of such talent were taken from us too soon. Anton L’Amour’s guitar vasilates between harsh angry grunge and atmospheric blues while Doris Delay’s bass hammers away, underpinning the song. There is a sense that the song is all going to fall apart and crumble in a heap, but while the band take it to the edge Koos keeps it together with his Oom-next-door vocals and poignant words.

It is a wonderful song to climb into, get rattled around by it, have your senses pummelled and to come out the other side, a bit battered and bruised, but with that wonderful feeling that you have survived something. You are still alive. You look back and recall those that fell in the song – “Beethoven is dying/Beethoven is dead” – with sadness. You pack their memory into a safe place in your mind and then head out to find the next song. James would have approved of this.

Where to find it:
Wingerd Rock 1: Songs Uit Die Bos (1996), Trippy Grape, TRIP001

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