wed 17/08/2022

South Africa

Blk Jks, Moth Club review - Johannesburg’s art-rockers are more straightforward live than on album

Figuratively, “Tselane” is Blk Jks’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Both songs begin quietly and move through passages of turbulence suggesting an impending tempest. Each has a command of dynamics which pulls the listener in, generating anticipation for what...

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Album: Wren Hinds - A Child's Chant for a New Millennium

Side Two of A Child’s Chant for a New Millennium opens with “Wrenbird,” a consideration of whether it’s possible to have a bird’s freedom of mobility. “Anywhere but here,” sings Wren Hinds. He may not be happy where he is, but the accompanying...

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William Hurt, great Hollywood contrarian, has died at 71

No actor had a classier time of it in the Eighties than William Hurt, who has died at the age of 71. Ramrod tall, blue-eyed and aquiline, with a high forehead swept clear of thin fair hair, he was a brash decade's intelligent male lead. Those years...

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Antony Sher: 'I discovered I could be other people'

The energy of Antony Sher, who has died at the age of 72, was prodigious. He not only acted like a fizzing firecracker. He wrote books about his most celebrated roles, and several novels set in his native South Africa. He also wrote plays, and he...

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Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, Orange Tree Theatre review - a blast from the past with lessons for today

Even if you miss the play’s title and do not recognise the writer’s name with the heft of reputation that comes with it, as soon as you see the black man and the white woman speaking in South African accents, you know that the tension that...

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Album: Blk Jks - Abantu/Before Humans

 “A complete fully translated and transcribed Obsidian Rock Audio Anthology chronicling the ancient spiritual technologies and exploits of prehistoric, post-revolutionary afro bionics and sacred texts from The Great Book On Arcanum by Supernal...

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Loyiso Gola, Netflix review - South African muses on race, religion and friendship

Loyiso Gola, twice nominated for Emmy awards for his satire show Late Nite News, has been a big star in South Africa for some years now but this show should help cement his reputation abroad. UK fans will remember his 2018 appearance on Live at the...

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Album: Bheki Mseleku - Beyond The Stars

Praise gets heaped on the already well known. And that often leaves others in the shadows. I’m not saying that Abdullah Ibrahim doesn’t deserve the accolades – notably, “our Mozart” from Nelson Mandela – but there have been other genius level South...

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Zanele Muholi, Tate Modern review - photography as protest

Hail the Dark Lioness (Somnyama Ngonyama in Zulu) is a powerful celebration of black identity. These dramatic assertions of selfhood are more than just striking self portraits, though. South African artist Zanele Muholi uses the pronouns they and...

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Album: Charles Webster - Decision Time

Charles Webster is one of those connecting figures who make the idea of “the underground” seem quite convincing. Originally from the Peak District but coming of musical age in Nottingham, he was inspired by Chicago house and Detroit techno music...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dudu Phukwana and the "Spears"

Whether explicitly or indirectly, what’s written on a master tape box can tantalise. Revealing part of a picture creates a desire to want to know more. Take the example seen above. It’s for an album by South African alto saxist Dudu Pukwana. The...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Moffie

Characterised by jarring juxtapositions of intense, appalling violence and the serene beauty of South Africa, Oliver Hermanus’ fourth feature is the story of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality against the background of apartheid and...

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