Category Archives: Cape Town

Gavin Minter “Case of You” performing with Campbell’s Big Band Jazz Monday at Trinity Tonight [EVENT] [VIDEO]

Gavin Minter

Tonight Gavin Minter sings the American Songbook – he’ll be performing music from his Big Band album “Ill be seeing you,” a collaboration with the legendry Stockholm Jazz Orchestra.  This features the arrangements by one of Europe’s finest composers Goran Strandberg, which will be performed with Campbell’s 18 piece Big Band – made up of Cape Town’s finest Jazz musicians.  Campbell’s band plays every Monday night at Trinity and will takes you through exciting themed nights that honor some of South Africa’s top jazz artists as well as playing tribute to the world’s greatest composers, band leaders and arrangers. It was nominated for Best Jazz Album – SAMA’s 2009.  Minter will also debut his new Septet with arrangements by Goran Strandberg and featured guest saxophonist – Buddy Wells.



By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

MacGyver Knife – “Stumble” [MUSIC] [FREE DOWNLOAD]

MacGyver Knife

MacGyver Knife just released their debut album, Sewing Legend. Combining over three years (2008 – 2011) experience in the South African music industry, stemming from a high school band that started in a garage, the band has made its way across the local Cape Town venues. MacGyver Knife is Mishal Pandie on vocals, Maahir Pandie on guitar and backing vocals, Zaheer Gaffoor on drums and percussion and Zaahier Kamedien on bass.  Their album is available to buy at Revolution Records in Observatory and MABU Vinyl in town or on itunes.  Download their free track Stumble via Soundcloud to check it out.


By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


Floyd Levine – “Silk Rick Mofo” [FREE DOWNLOAD] [MUSIC]

Floyd Lavine

Floyd Levine is back in South Africa and after spending time at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town; he has released two tracks – Silk Rick Mofo and Sauda Nam – available for free via soundcloud.  Lavine is a DJ, producer and co-owner of Uberbeat records.  His discofied house and techno tracks have been heard around the UK, and hopefully these releases will put him on the map in South Africa as well.  Check it out.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC




Mr. Sakitumi – Debut Album – “Secret Asian Man” & Interview [MUSIC NEWS]


mr sakitumi

Multi-instrumentalist, producer and live stage performer,Mr Sakitumi, is releasing his much anticipated debut album through African Dope Records TODAY (June 8, 2011)!   An innovative musical phenomenon the likes of Mr Sakitumi is few and far in between in the world of electronic music. From the studio to the stage, he’s mastered his vast array of physical and virtual tools to produce his first solo album ‘SECRET ASIAN MAN’.  This comes after being a member of numerous influential South African acts such as Max Normal, Lark, Krushed & Sorted, Closet Snare, and Mr Sakitumi & The Grrrl, along with performances in Goldfish, Freshly Ground, EJ von Lyrik, Gazelle and many more.

I was lucky enough to meet up with Mr. Sakitumi here in Cape Town before a performance for an interview about his music and hopes for ‘Secret Asian Man.’

Secret Asian Man

When did you start playing musical instruments and how many do you play?

I started when I was about nine years old, I started with classical piano, I started lessons like that and basically branched out from piano to all the various instruments I play now.

And when did you start layering the different instruments and experimenting with electronic music?

I think I just have always been into experimenting with sound.  When I start learning one instrument I get inquisitive – how does another instrument work in context to it (the previous instrument I’m playing) and I play around with that.  Before I knew it I was starting to play quite a couple instruments but a bit more fluently than just jamming around.  I started actually performing with them in bands, and then it just kind of grew from there.  And, then electronic music aspect also came into the picture because it was like another instrument that I was learning and it just happened to allow me to combine them all into making production together.

I know that you have collaborated a lot in the past, how long have you been working on an individual album?

It’s been a long process… years in the making.  I never pushed to make it, I’ve always just made tracks.  This album is a combination of ideas from way back and some stuff that’s quite recent.  So, when I first started out I never initially said, I want to do an album.  I just wanted to write tunes and started getting into electronic music using the sound player as an electronic music instrument.  It kind of grew from there and eventually I started building up more tracks, and I just needed to let go and let some music be out there, as Mr. Sakitumi. Because I’ve done a lot of albums with other bands, as band member or collaborator, or session recorder and so on.

And, how has it been different producing solo versus collective?

When you’re in the band its always quite cool because your part of the whole, so you just need to focus on your one aspect, your one instrument, or one part of the writing process.  When you’re doing it on your own your encompassing all of that and you also only consult with yourself the whole time, which can be a good thing and a bad thing, you have all this control, but then you also have so much control that you hold on too strong.  You need the process of letting go; when you know the song is ready you let it go.  I kind of enjoy that with the band context because you get everyone pushing their ideas together and then let it out, but I also enjoy doing solo compositions as well.

So do you like having both?

Yea, they kind of even each other out – it’s like winter and summer, they work well together.  It makes you appreciate each aspect.   So doing a solo I appreciate doing band collaborations, and vice versa.

What drove you to pursue a career in music and what is it that drives you individually as a musician?

It wasn’t always there as a defined career.  I’ve always played music, I was originally studying to be something else, but eventually dropped out of my studies, and there was always that pressure from society to not really do music as a career.  Because it’s not really seen as a profession, but I always had it on the side, and then one day I just decided that I’ve built up enough of a platform musically and I said ok I’m going to do this and I think that changed quite a lot for me, it helped me build bigger blocks on it by actually saying I’m going to do this.  I’ve just been fortunate to be surrounded by really talent people – I’ve played with really amazing bands and amazing players and surrounded by really cool people who support what I’m doing as well.  It really helps a lot because your up against quite a lot of odds and to have people around you who are helping you and giving you support and drive definitely helps.  From an inspiration point of view I just love sound, I love music.  It’s inspirational for me to hear something that moves me and it makes me really enjoy what I do because I’m hoping in the same way, anything I do can move somebody else.

What kind of things do you do to promote yourself?

I’ve got a team of people that help me.  I wouldn’t say it’s my strongest point, but I am learning about it as a solo artist, because being a band member I’ve always left that job up to somebody else in the band.  And, now I’m actually learning more about it and understanding the importance of marketing and promoting because at the end of the day if you have a diamond in your pocket and no one knows about it, its not worth anything so, I can have all these songs and have this whole persona and package and everything but if no one knows about it, it doesn’t get out there as much.

So, for promoting, I’m adding little viral videos and post them and get more people like you to find me and write about me and it helps other people discover me.

What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry and where do you see it going?

I can’t really tell, it all moves so much and the dynamics have changed drastically in the past couple of years, I really can’t say what it’s going to be.  I can say the digital age has become a stronger point in the music industry and it comes with it’s ups and downs, but it’s definitely where the majority of the future of the music industry is sitting at the moment.  I can’t say where it’s going to go from there, but that’s where I’m viewing it.  But, I think people still enjoy tangible things in music as well.  Definitely, live performance is still quite an essential part of any artist.  People still love to see the artist playing.  The live aspect is very important; the digital thing is more just the fact of actual physical sales.  As far as marketing and stuff it definitely opens doors for me, for people to know about my stuff from somewhere else in the world.  Before, they would never come across my music or anything I’m doing.  But, people so enjoy tangibility – I think vinyls are coming back in a weird way.  I think were planning our album that we might have a limited vinyl release, because it’s quite a collectable to do.

What prompted Secret Asian Man and how did it evolve?

Secret Asian man encompasses the electronic side of what I’ve been doing as a musician – over quite a couple of years.  It started back when I first got my sound player, my first electronic instrument – and I was making little bits of music on there – so some of the tracks date back to rough ideas from years ago, and being able to play various instruments I was able to add to that later on. Especially now that I have my own home studio, I’ve been able to track my live playing.  So its evolved – from being strictly more sample based to digital to more organic and now live playing.

The album – I had to compile the best of the tracks that I’ve done – and I have quite a lot of tracks.  I had to let go (of some) – these are the ones that represent my sound, my melodies and my beats at the moment at this point in time. 

What are your reasons for being an independent artist?

Well, first of all I am very left of center anyway – I’m not very mainstream to begin with, so, being independent is almost an automatic situation.  It’s also – to choose to be that – I’m allowing myself to have more freedom.  I’m releasing to African Dope records, and they’ve been really cool, with the album and the kind of sound that I’m doing, and that helps me to not have to compromise anything.

What struggles have you faced with getting your music heard and getting your name recognized by outside markets?

It’s a massive world out there, and also as I’ve said how the digital age has helped everyone been known, in the same sense there’s an ocean of people out there who are putting their stuff out there, the same as what I’m trying to do so it becomes really hard, just to be heard and make a unique statement or standpoint.  It definitely helps with people like you, musicwithoutlabels, and various other blogs that picked up on me in some way – and from overseas, not just South African based, and shown interest to tell other people.  I suppose it all starts with that kind of thing.  The world is about people talking about things and then spreading it and that’s how I suppose all the social networks help that aspect from an independent point of view.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Leon Botha – South African DJ passed away yesterday (June 5, 2011) [VIDEO] [MUSIC NEWS]

Leon Botha

Leon Botha, best known as the opening DJ for Die Antwoord and inspiring painter, passed away yesterday ultimately from heart failure.  He had progeria, a rare medical condition that produces rapid aging from childhood.  Leon’s work was heavily influenced by the Samurai tradition, which he studied.  He died the day after his 26th birthday, making him one of the oldest people to live with the disease.  Check out this video from Spindle mag highlighting his DJ skills.


By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC



Black Porcelain – “TheInBetween” [MUSIC]

Black Porcelain

Black Porcelain is a future soul musician based in Cape Town.  She completed her first EP Green in 2008 and is currently working on her debut album ‘Invincible Summer.’  After working on the album for almost 2 years, she decided to release three tracks she worked on with Oltak at Red Bull Studios as another EP, which is known as TheInBetween.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


She Man Lion – “Mexican” [MUSIC] [FREE DOWNLOAD]


She Man Lion

Hailing from Observatory, Cape Town, She Man Lion spent two years honing their skills before their breakthrough performance to a packed Zula Sound Bar in August 2008. The band rose to an initial crescendo in 2009 with their winning the Red Bull Radar competition at Rocking the Daisies Festival. Growing interest in SHE MAN LION’S synth-driven uplifting dance music led to performances with the likes of top local acts BLK JKS, Desmond & the Tutus, Kidofdoom and Lark. After a line up change in early 2010 the band went on to perform at Rocking the Daisies 2010 with renewed energy, further progressing their sound into the new decade.



By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


The Great Apes – “Mad Again/I’m Bad Like Jesse James” [MUSIC]

the great apes

The Great Apes are a blues-rock band out of Cape Town.  Under the influence of old blues legends like Muddy Waters and Odetta, this band has alot of soul. Layers of spirit and primal noise create a monster of seductive rock ‘n roll.  The five apes include Yusif Sayigh on vocals, Pienaar Du Plessis in control of rhythm guitar, Antonie Gunter mastering feedback on lead guitar, Jacques Stemmet grooving base and Jaekan Coetzee smashing drums.  They have played at various venues throughout South Africa – check out their song Mad Again/I’m Bad Like Jesse James here.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Taxijam – Laurie Levine & Lisa V [VIDEO]


Taxijam is an Internet mixed tape.  Filmed here in the Mother City – it is a collection of unedited live performances in the back of a taxicab with local talent. They provide a selection of some of South Africa’s finest creative talent performing in an intimate 5-minute taxi ride.  All clips are recorded and shot in exactly the same style, in one take and uploaded to their website.  Each and every performance is entirely democratic; there are no expensive stages or creative lighting, which makes it possible for viewers watch multiple musicians in exactly the same context.  Check out their website to view a variety of different artists.  It’s the smallest gig around!

Laurie Levine & Lisa V from taxijam on Vimeo.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


Blk Jks – “Summertime” [VIDEO]

Blk Jks

Founded in 2000 in Johannesburg, the indie rock act BLK JKS is comprised of guitarists Lindani Buthelezi and Mpumi Mcata, who grew up together in Joburg’s East Rand, and Soweto natives Molefi Makananise (bass) and Tshepang Ramoba (drums).  BLK JKS made their international recording debut in 2007 with a self-released limited-edition 10″ vinyl release of the single “Lakeside”. In 2008 BLK JKS were offered a recording contract with Secretly Canadian during a DJ tour.  Since then they’ve played at festivals throughout South Africa, Europe and the US. Check out their video of Summertime.


By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC