TRNSD Sound x HYPE Magazine Presents Session 007 – Nouveaux

For our 7th installment of HYPE Magazine x TRNSD Sound Sessions we feature Joburg based DJ duo Nouveaux. Thubelihle Nkutha and Neo Motiso joined forces to bring a unique sound to the industry. Their music selection and style of mixing has definitely gotten the attention of many which you can tell by the number of listens on their Souncloud page. We asked them to do an exclusive guest mix for us as well as give us a brief lowdown on who Nouveaux is.

Listen to the guestmix here:

 

What reason(s) got you guys to decide that you want to both DJ, as a duo?

Well Neo was the one who knew how to DJ because he studied at the Academy of Sound Engineering. I needed someone to make mixes for an event called Woke Arts, he was the only one who could and I used to select the song. Then it moved to us both selecting songs together, from there people wanted us to play live and that is how we became a duo, it was never planned and that is probably the beauty of this whole experience. (Thube)

Well basically the formation of Nouveaux was the result of Thube asking me to mix a list of songs he curated for an event called Woke Arts. People responded well to the mix and demand built for another one and then another one. We eventually saw that we could take this unique style of music we play and run with it. Now we both do the curating and mixing. (Neo)

Describe Nouveaux in one sentence?

New sounds, vibes that never stop and music that the people always want to hear. (Thube)

Nouveaux is French for new and that the type of sound we are trying to bring to people (Neo)

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From listening to your sets, you seem to be inspired a lot by electronic, bounce, disco etc… “Soundcloud music” as most would call it. Do you think there’s a viable market for this sound in South Africa?

Yes, because music in South Africa is something that is not confined to one genre. There are different types of people who like different types of music, which includes the Soundcloud diggers and lovers. Which is where we found most of our success to stem from, so there is a market that needs to be tapped into. (Thube)

I would definitely agree. With the rise of streaming sites, more and more people are tailoring their own playlists instead of relying solely on the “mainstream”. People want to hear something different, you can see it with the success the Soulection shows have had here as well as the continued demand for acts like Kaytranada to come to South Africa. (Neo)

Do you guys plan on producing any of your own music in the near future?

Yes, we joke around about it but it is very much a plan. Issues we have is the distance we have and when we are together, the time together is too short to make a new mix and fresh sounds. It will happen, there is no rush. (Thube)

Original content is definitely in the pipeline for the future. I think more than anything, it’s just about taking our time and perfecting our craft so that when we do drop, it can be something meaningful instead of just dropping music because its “the next stage” of our career. (Neo)

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A little get to knows:

– Music to get high to… Childish Gambino and Soulection Radio. Probably with Soulection it comes with the diverse artists they have, in those probably Sango and Abjo are the artists who are great to get high too. If I am being corny, Kid Cudi never fails. (Thube)

Definitely some Tame Impala, Toro y Moi, stuff along those lines. Nothing’s better when you’re high trust me (Neo)

– Favourite piece of tech… IPhone, because Steve Jobs motherfucker. (Thube)

More than anything, the Soundcloud application, the gems there are infinite and it’s an important part of our digging regiment. But if you’re talking hardware, then definitely the Pioneer DDJ-SR controller. It’s not the most advanced controller but it has everything you need and just the feel of it and how it works is a dream. Definitely one to save up for. (Neo)

– Music to play at the afterparty when it’s 6am and the sun is beginning to rise… Nothing, because we should be sleeping at that time. Neo can answer because he never sleeps (Thube)

I can’t tell you much about a 6am after party, I usually don’t rage that hard, but if you’re in the Uber on your way home after a cinematic night, you’ve got to let off some Fela Kuti or Miriam Makeba. Anything jazzy really but those two are some faves. (Neo)

– Favourite hangout spot… Home, home is a place of peace and serenity. (Thube)

Great Dane is legendary, a lot of good memories made there. (Neo)

– A Musician/DJ you’d want to collaborate with… Das Kapital from South Africa and Sango from America. (Thube)

I’d love to work with a Joe Kay or a Gilles Peterson. Those are big inspirations in terms of what we do. (Neo)

Where you can find Nouveaux
– Twitter: NouveauxSA
– Soundcloud: NouveAux / UNDRSCR
– Bookings: Nouveauxmusic@gmail.com

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Superbalist Weekender By a Carefree Black Boy.

To start this article off, it is important to state I will be giving a summary over an event which happened across 3 days so do bear with me if it does not depict or evoke the emotional response you felt on the different days. If you have no idea what I am referring to, oh do I have a story to tell you. Okay let me give early context, a few months ago Superbalist announced there were going to have a festival in Johannesburg, yes an entire festival in Johannesburg. Honestly I was curious as to how it was going to happen especially considering the fact that Jo’burg was not known for housing large festivals like Rocking the Daises or OppiKoppi. Would Jo’burg people be keen for something like that anyway? Is an important question. The initial answer was no but when it was announced, it would be a 3 day event at different venues; The And club, Braam Beach Party (both in Newtown) and the main event that had headline acts Mac Miller and Foster the people in Emmarentia Dam. People seemed interested and so was I. Let me try taking you through a journey of a carefree black boy doing his first “Festival.”

 

And club, known being for white people because of the music they played (Deep techno or something like that). My friends and I tried to have a positive attitude purely because we paid for this festival and had no choice but to enjoy. In the Uber going there, music was playing on the radio and my one friend Thabani said “This is the last time we will hear this kind of music, enjoy it while you can.” Entering the club we were met by a plethora of white people, it felt like being in Cape Town and with each stare you get the feeling of not being wanted envelopes you. To be honest I would not have been surprised if we were with people who voted “Yes” for Wits to open. Assessing the place moving around, we always smiled when we saw our fellow black person. Issue with that was 90% of them had relaxed their hair so they basically weren’t one of us. There were two dance floors, one of them played Deep techno which seemed to get people dancing granted it was one directional movement but the music seemed to be felt by the audience, it was strange to see honestly. It was as if the crowed was drugged (take it as you want) or in a trance. The music itself had no vibe or rhythm to it even if you have a little groove in your boots you wouldn’t groove. I can admit that it was a little pleasing and funny at the same time seeing people try dance to it (NO NAMES WILL BE MENTIONED). Overall analysis; if the clubs has the name & (AND) maybe you aren’t the “target market.”

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Next day was the UntilUntil event and man did I wish it continued, until… The rain did not almost ruin everything. Okay, I may have skipped a considerable amount of information didn’t I? Apologies, I go by the name of Thube and this is my journey of another day being at a festival as a carefree black boy. The day started out with everyone being excited for the Braam Beach Party that was set up in such a way that it would actually feel like you’re at the beach, dude I kid you not dude. Everyone comes in their shorts and beach attire (but not really everyone because it is still Jo’burg, I can and will dress how I want). Fine, the vibes immediately upon arrival were strong, my friends and I fit in a lot better because we see a lot more welcoming and familiar faces. In other words: there were more black people.

Everything was going well, there was actual beach sand so there was an authentic feel. The acts which came on were nothing short of amazing. The DJ’s took a different approach with their sets from DJ Capital playing with a drummer, Atjazz brought out a guitarist who hit those riffs perfectly when ‘moments’ came on, during the set it started to drizzle making it feel like everything happens for a reason. After the set it rain and poured, people tried to resist it at first but when you are dressed as if you should be in the beach but with no ocean in sight and you are wet. It isn’t really desirable to be within rain at all. Leading people to run and look for any bit of shelter be it a tent of sorts, someone’s partner, your partner, you know whatever works. The rain calms down and the music is keeping people warm and things seem fine, until it rains again and now you have zero fucks to give because MAYO by DJ Speedsta plays in the background making it feel that everything will be alright. Partying in the rain feeling like it is an early 2000 R&B classic music video. Performances come on and King Kotini (Ricky Rick) gives a performance with so much passion you want to applaud at the end and give him a standing ovation and encore for the culture. AKA is the headline that does not perform like he used to. There was a point in time when there was far too much auto-tune and less rapping in his performances, at this point you are too cold to stay, decide to request an Uber and call it a goodnight.

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It is the main event. It is the day everyone was waiting for, the day of Mac Miller and Foster the People. The journey continues and it is still brought to you by a carefree black boy who loves his mom. Event starts at 10am (Lol I know right?) so my friends and I are lax about it and take our time, considering the night before you decide to have an outfit which can work if it is hot or a bit nippy either way you are safe. Friends assemble and we request the Uber. The vibes are strong en route, there are discussions on what Mac will perform. We each say which songs we would like to hear (I wanted, I’m Not Real). Arrive at the venue and it is too hot and it hits me that I wore too much clothes anyway. Time for refreshments and there are so many white people again, (what is happening??). Then it hits you that the entire roster of performers is white, you keep it moving and find a decent spot upfront to be in good view of Mac. There is a weird artist by the name of BeardyMan performing and everyone is confused but you enjoy because you paid for this. With each song you are getting more impatient waiting for Mac, the sun is beaming and it was as if the DA told the sun to be perfect on the day as there would be more white people than blacks. You don’t let it get to you because… it’s Mac bro. There is the set up and it is finally happening you are going to see the artist who gave you Blue slide-park and is your generations Eminem, I mean that in a sense of white people are happy to have another dope rapper they can relate to before I am scolded.

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Photo Cred: @LydieByart_

Cinderella drops and the crowd is singing line for line, louder and louder waiting for Mac to appear. Mac comes out in a hoodie and Shorts, sees the crowd and is stunned takes it all in and gives us an amazing performance. Everyone and I mean everyone lost their shit when ROME came on, the performance had his classics and best songs from the new album. He gets off the stage, people call for an encore, calling to no avail. Yes we saw Mac but we did not get him for the duration we wanted, call it selfish but I call it being a fan. Mans did not even perform past an hour, reason was firstly the event ended at 6pm, secondly Foster the people were coming on. If you played FIFA growing up you will have heard a few of their songs.

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Photo Cred: @LydieByart_

It took them about 30-45 minutes to set up, in between people were losing their minds from the Mac Miller performance, my friends wanted to leave which they couldn’t because I have seen enough movies where black people get left alone with white people… they do drugs (You thought worse things didn’t you? shame just shame on you). Foster the people come out dressed in all white looking like they were about to kill someone, hate to be cliché but their performance was killed. The instruments made their songs come to life or LIVE seeing them LIVE was a threat. We were spoiled with exclusive songs, and then we were sent off with their classic Pumped up Kicks. It was time to go home and take in the entire weekend in. The important lesson of the weekend was never wait too long to leave because when you are around white people get ready for a X3.6 Uber surge. This is a journey brought to you by a carefree black boy.

By: Thube Nkutha

Live For Live

Concerts, concerts, always a flip the coin situation. More for the uncertainty of what will be coming your way, one should have expectations especially when they have paid money for it. Now you are patiently waiting for the entire ordeal to go well, hoping it will all be worth it. Concerts offer something you wouldn’t experience when jamming alone or with headphones on your way to school/work, very much a surreal feel of the music itself.

There is a certain level of effort put in by the artists during a performance, as a fan you want to see when they pour themselves into their music. Something you can only see live. For some, the atmosphere itself is what wins them over, how great the act is able to engage with the crowd, giving another aspect which adds to the music. Certain international acts don’t give their all in their performances. Mainly big names (will not name drop), key word was certain. As not all artists have this inferiority complex about South Africa, Africa as a whole actually. Probably seeing a big international act give us his/her all on stage, wanting to make our money worth spending on them. Especially when one we’re to exchange our currency into their currencies, they wouldn’t be making much profit but that’s when you gauge an artist who is in it for the art. The people who appreciate their art. Instead of it being a selfish gain, how they are doing South Africa a favor.

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Before I continue a few concert rules need to be set;
1. Tall people should not be in the front of the damn audience. I mean you can easily see above most heads, now why be “that guy” who wants to see everything impeding others’ view. Where is the damn decorum!?
2. Don’t by any means stand next to the speaker, no matter how psyched you are feeling that night. The next morning will definitely be a horrific one.
3. Can the opening acts not be a platform for organizers pushing their friends’ Mixtapes. Especially when the music is so experimental, it feels weird. Yeah yeah I get intimate crowds are open to new things. But not all new things need to be experimented all the time you know? No? Okay.

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I recently went to a concert by a Canadian jazz band by the name of BadBadNotGood (styled as BADBADNOTGOOD, BBNG for short). They were initially only performing at The International Cape Town Jazz Fest. But, someone probably getting God on the phone, Kool Out managed to bring them to Jo’burg. Something I personally have become a huge fan of, is how these small bands can get a crowd (granted I’ve only been to two concerts) it’s about how music can travel through many countries. Good music will always be found and heard. It shows when these relatively small acts, who aren’t known commercially can sell out the works, without losing the main theme of an intimate setting with the audience. The ability to engage with the crowd, without feeling you aren’t having the same experience as a person three places behind you. Maybe this is dramatic but, you feel how it is to be in studio with them jamming.

Generally from the comments made by the “Beyoncé” of BBNG, who was very surprised as to how energetic the crowd was, it could be that us being in another country. We hardly get acts constantly coming back, as we have come to know that a world tour equals every place besides anywhere in Africa. The crowd knows they have to make the most of this opportunity. Getting an artist at their peak, whereas most legendary artists see South Africa as a ticket to enjoy their glory days who come way after their own buzz has died down in their own country. I personally don’t want to be at a Big Sean concert when his raps are all corny and he isn’t rapping songs I would like him to right now before he stops performing ever. Probably this forms my biased need for an intimate performance, making it feel that the artist is purely trying to please me or one person even though they aren’t (I probably sound narcissistic but I’m not).

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Back to the concert, it felt as if I was back at Puma Social Club (a social event which Puma used to host in different cities around Gauteng), and I never wanted it to end. From the opening sets that were playing music you wouldn’t hear when you are out but should. Opening acts got a bit weird (remember point umber 3). Past the clustered crowd, being close to the speaker, sweating a bit from all the cigarettes. Concerts have this feel that music can bring anyone together for about 2-6 hours. Fine, fine we not saying music is changing the world. We can say concerts are the one place where world peace can be seen.

I recommend to vibe out to BBNG, they’re really worth having a listen to — SOUNDCLOUD

Author: Njabulo ‘Thube’ Nkutha

TRNSD Sound Presents STUDIO 1

SOUND

TRNSD Sound Presents STUDIO 1

A bi-weekly show in which we host conversations with local upcoming “b-side” artists, cats who are causing waves beyond radio and television. We are creating a platform for new and alternative sounds which South Africans have to offer. The Intro features a Guest Mix (snippet) by DJ BASMNT. Have a listen via STUDIO 1 Intro (Snippet)

Full Intro coming soon. Keep tabs on TRNSD90.com/Sound

Open Your Ears, Close Your Eyes.

Growing up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, South African music had its own genre going by the name of Kwaito. That was the music which brought about a sense of identity that we could call our own, something that didn’t sound inspired from another country. Yet somehow the genre started to fade out and our cry was for music our generation would enjoy. Thus having our generation get in tuned with sounds abroad, to an extent and a very large one at that. Sounds which weren’t ours were favoured more because of popularity and people generally didn’t expect much to come locally.

What effect could this have on our music scene? One would hope not a massive one yes? Well how short sighted is your hope. In fact one would assume, a disregard of potential will never be given a chance, based solely on where it is from is what some of the local artists have to face. How someone would change a song playing on the radio (if it reaches the radio) if they hear it’s not local and isn’t a house hold name. That could make artists tend to feel undervalued by those they want to please. To give rise to the local music scene that people are claiming is so rigid and stagnant, which lacks growth. How the artists who have made it only seem to fucks with the music only when there is a vibe, see that the hype train can take them to their best destination. Then it’s hidden behind how they always saw your potential. How the local group is “sleeping” on talent.

Not all our local talent gets applauds from the famous stars, making one wonder how they keep still making music. Matter of fact, why would they still be making music? I mean if it’s not for themselves, who is it for? Strange how something isn’t felt by those around you but gets received very well abroad. Having our own local artists going to festivals such as Glastonbury (John Wizards did this), causing waves and making moves and still nobody even knows their name. Who is to blame? The local artists who don’t seem to push their music down people’s throats but take the direction of; “our music will speak for itself, if people want to hear it then they will.” Which kinda sucks, let me explain before I am killed. As in South Africa we don’t have easy access to constant internet as Europeans, Americans, etc. Or does it become the people’s fault for not going to a cheap Internet cafe and streaming on Soundcloud digging for music. Maybe it’s the people as they fear not enjoying what could be on the Red Bull Studios Cape Town playlist. Not everyone would enjoy the likes of Das Kapital or Christian Tiger School. With that being said, why wouldn’t they? I mean we all can’t be into the same kind of music. We could try to be more open especially since it’s local, they do say support local.

Segregation formed based on what music is played in different cities is not such a bad thing. Every city has its own culture, a vibe which differentiates them from the rest. My friends once told me when they went to Cape Town, the popular clubs had not caught up to the level of hip hop that was being played in Jo’burg. One can understand why that is as electronic music tends to get the nod in the west side. The city being the capital of South Africa’s best music festivals (I don’t want to say that Jo’burg folk mostly act fresh to an artist that isn’t huge), forcing artists to niche their music to accommodate a certain amount of people. I believe such an ideal needs to be demolished because artists are getting caught into restricting what reach they can have locally. Myself and DJ BASMNT have put together a playlist of local tracks we think cause serious waves and need to be heard. Direct links have been put up so please feel free to lend an ear and stream/download/share the vibes.

By: Thube Nkutha