Spotify Playlists With My Music (Assorted Weird Shit)

Sooooo, Spotify appears to have arrived in South Africa this week. To some it’s the next best thing after sliced toast. For others, it’s why bother to move from Deezer or Apple Music. For artists it’s  still rampant exploitation of copyright value, degrading payments and grandiose promises of exposures. Oops, did I say that out loud? I mean it’s the next best thing after sliced toast!

Personal feelings aside, it’s still the biggest music streaming service on the planet, so my music is in there for now. I’m also glad I can finally claim my artist pages. South African artists haven’t been able to, as it requires a Spotify account, and Spotify didn’t exist here, yet. Ha! Third World Problems!

While suffering from a nasty tummy bug, I’ve been fiddling a bit on the platform to check it out. It seems more playlisty orientated, which isn’t really for me as I’m a more of a sits down and meticulously listens to the entire album kind of guy.

However, out of boredom, curiosity, and general goodwill to humankind, I made some playlists with my music in them. Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. However, it also highlights some of my influences, and the general crazy shit I like.

The Dark Cow

Soooo, this list is pretty much for people who like hardcore rappity raps of a darker nature. Filthy grimy shit! Non-Stop BARs! Lyrics you catch after ten years of listening and researching the occult, classic movies, serial killers and mafiosos. That kind of thing. *Vinnie Paz Evil Laugh*

The Mad Drummer

Here are some notes on The Mad Drummer’s playlists. I promise I didn’t write these. I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff, the psycho!

“I, myself, indeed, myself, The Mad Drummer, have selected some classically fused metal ditties to go along with my own Not Yet Dead. Feel the delightful pitter patter of the double bass drum as the melodic counterpoint assaults the higher functions of the mind leading to the land of catharsis. Beauty! ‘Hosanna!’ as the renowned composer, Adam Nergal Darski would say.”

“Obsidian Jones’ picks compositions to accompany Kratos. Obsidian advises this is only for those of a sophisticated and dark palette. Those of a psychedelic, yet evil nature. Those who might play Coltrane next to Holst. Those who might play BEHEMOTH, then Chelsea Wolfe the next second. Yes, those darklings wondering around out there in the nether realm beyond the reaches of the sun.”


Dilman Dila’s ‘The Trouble With Afrofuturism’

I just read Dilman Dila’s ‘The Trouble with Afrofuturism’ and found it quite poignant. It touches on a number of things that scratch around my mind when I hear the term. Such as, what does it actually mean? Really though? What does it mean? How broad is this thing, and as Dila notes, there’s almost a fanciful, one size fits all approach, where the definition varies according to what the user wants to describe as Afrofuturistic.

Definition arguments aside though Dila’s piece also made me think of the ‘one-way transaction’ style I feel Afrofuturism sometimes falls victim too. These are mostly behind the scenes, niggles, that industry personnel would be aware of, but consumers probably aren’t paying too much attention to.

For example the issue of Lina Iris Viktor, vs Black Panther & Co.  For those unaware, Viktor alleges her artworks were stolen for use in the music video ‘All The Stars’ by Kendrick Lamar and SZA. I would say she has a very strong case here, as she was contacted twice to participate, and declined.

If you’re not schooled on Entertainment Industry Bullshit 101, the general stealing process operates in this manner. First, you, Leviathan Artist Inc. contact lesser known artist and ask them to participate for A. Exposure or B. Peanuts. Said person declines your ridiculous offer, as they actually want to pay the rent, and/or highly value their work (as they should, they made it!). You, Leviathan Artist Inc. then hire other, probably even lessor known artist, and ask them if they can make something ‘similar’, usually taking precaution to remain in the grey area of copyright infringement just in case someone notices. This is mostly to avoid bad publicity. You don’t really have to worry about the legalities as you probably have more lawyers, and you can run a smear campaign claiming the artist is a bitter hater, whose own self-pity and mental illness is the reason they’re suing you. I’m not saying this is what went down in this case, it’s just how it generally goes down.

Anyway, industry politics (bullshit) aside, as noted in the piece:
“In an interview, Ms. Viktor said what matters to her most is the principle, not compensation. “Cultural appropriation is something that continually happens to African-American artists,” she said, “and I want to make a stand.”

Things get very strange here. A team consisting of African-Americans, making a movie that’s supposed to represent black excellence, and Afrofuturism I suppose, rip-off (allegedly…) a British-Liberian’s artwork? I find no better way to describe this scenario other than: a complete mindfuck.

There’s also that slightly colonial smell of claiming intellectual property, and narrative merely because you have the bigger gun. I don’t like that I sometimes observe a weird colonial type thing going on in the creation of Afrofuturist works. I also find myself constantly seeing the “I Have the Bigger Gun” phenomena in the juxtaposition between what African Spec Fic authors (or movie directors in Dila’s case) living in Africa can achieve versus what those living in more developed nations can.

It largely boils down to access: social capital; funds; decent infrastructure. The world has a hierarchy (even with the internet), so on average, there’s generally going to be more infrastructure to take advantage of, off the African continent. It is what it is. There’s just something very painful in that fact. Despite these optimistic Afrofutures (Afrofuturies? Afrofutury? Afrofuture`?) we might like to see, most Africans still have to leave the continent, and access Western infrastructures, in order for those very Afrofutures to reach your computer screen in the first place. It’s a biting irony…

This goes onto Dila’s discussion of the difficulties of imagining and ingesting Utopian Afrofutures when you actually live in Africa. Most of the daily experiences living in Africa are so far removed such Utopian concepts that you find yourself with Schizobrain, walking between fantasy ideals and real world realities. Dystopia might be a dead genre, but dystopia is largely what I see when walking the insanely unequal streets of South Africa, hence why I write a lot of it.

 I’m definitely on the fence about this whole Utopian Afrofuturism thing. I prefer a more Mamdani inspired interpretation. In a post from last year, I noted, contrary to what is often a Black African knee-jerk reaction to decolonization, that Mamdani suggests the future of Africa may not be a revert to traditional beliefs, and a throwing away of all Western influences. Instead he suggests, it may be a convergence of the two, which creates something new and unorthodox.

I feel somewhat the same about Afrofuturism at times. It may also be the South Africa in me, as we’re such a mishmash of Afro and Euro centrism, I find it difficult to turn off that lens. I was also not born in South Africa, so that strange limbo place between African and African diaspora is pretty much my comfort zone.

Either way, I believe a more realistic Afrofuturism might speak to the convergence of our current realities, and how we hope things might be. Maybe an African does create a new amazing technology that defies all expectations, and could save the entire continent, and turn it into a Utopia. But then again, maybe the West steals it from us, with the help of our limp politicians and we reap none of the benefits. Who knows?


Messages From The Mad Drummer

I, myself, indeed, The Mad Drummer, himself, am currently Spontificating musical notes in Spotify to all proselytes within hearing range.

Ye of the Apple faith might rejoice at the arrival of my work. Go forth proselytes and pray at the altar of Saint Steve of Jobs

Less the children of the damned and Deezer be forgotten, The Mad Drummer has some scalps for the children this festive season.




Social Media Rant

Creepily, Facebook just asked me if I think they’re making the world a better place. So I opted to go full rant in my response, and let it all hang out. Not because they’ll give a shit, but catharsis maybe?

I’m unsure what social media platforms are supposed to be at this stage. As a medium to interact and engage with friends, facebook isn’t that great anymore. As such it’s now more of a platform to market oneself and one’s products. However, in this regard Facebook has failed somewhat too, with the prioritization of big business and big budgets. It is no longer as effective as a small entrepreneur to market products, as big business can essentially always pay more for their products to bombard customers in every corner of the web.

This was not the case before, where small entrepreneurs used to stand a chance of having their products appear equally next to big business if people liked the product. This in essence defeats the previous open opportunity the internet and social media used to represent. It is all but monopolized now.

Monopolies breed inefficiency, laxity, and cut out innovation in favour of their own products and services, which often times are archaic, overpriced, and make use of excess slave labour. This is one way Facebook may not be making the world a better place.

Secondly, Facebook’s algorithms seem to place quantity over quality. Therefore, poorly researched and written fake news articles are more likely to become popular, despite them not even being factual. This may be a technical programming issue, however many minority activist, and intellectual groups view this as an active assault on intellectualism and minority views, with Facebook curating information in favour of privilege (again, returning to point one where he/she who pays most, appears most) .Thus Facebook could be seen to be promoting non-intellectualism, and poor quality literature.

On the plus side, Facebook is a great place to network with those in your field if you’re an introvert. Similarly, with some meticulous curating, socializing can be bearable on Facebook, and keep one in contact with those who are far away. Also, with much sifting and effort, one can occasionally use Facebook to find, and/or organize events, but the above caveats still apply.


New Mad Drummer Single



I’ve been getting a lot of streams for my last Mad Drummer single, Kratos, on Spotify of all places?????

Anyway, I decided to quietly repackage and release an older composition, now officially as the Mad Drummer. It should be available on all the major music platforms some time in the next month. You can currently stream and buy it via Bandcamp and Souncloud. Shout out to the  weirdos (or weirdo) banging Kratos in Italy of all places??? It is greatly appreciated.

Hopefully I’ll be able to put out another EP sometime next year, but quite busy with writing right now…



Police Abuse and PTSD

Short article detailing police abuse during FeesMustFall last year, and resulting PTSD in students.

The article contains links to two documents that are probably well worth a read.

I touched on some of these abuses in a paper I wrote last year, published in The Thinker. The two documents in the article go into greater detail about protest protocol according to South African law, and have witness accounts of events from last year.

My research was largely based on news reporting from independent media, and conflict resolution theory, so there is a bit more meat in these documents from a law, and eye witness perspective.

On The Nature of History, Heritage, and Dicknanigans

Recently, the unstoppably evil sociopathic force that is Jacob Zuma, has had himself memorialized twice, to the applause of faux black excellence, and overblown struggle credentials.

Observing Zuma and his new brand of ANC, recent discussions of history and heritage come to mind. Much like their fore bearers, The National Party (who wrote the book on thumb sucking a new history for political gain) the ‘ANC’, and Zuma, are quite clearly trying to rewrite a contemporary South African history that paints them in a flattering light.

As absurd and depraved as these moves are, they present a great opportunity to reflect on why heritage and history must consistently be brought up, discussed, pondered, reformed, and occasionally re-written in light of new information. An ongoing process that should continue forever. Maybe future African generations will lead #ZumaMustFall movements (wait…hang on…) and opt to erect statues of African leaders with more integrity?

Anyway, many a white conservative (along with their ever annoying sloth shaped familiars, the neo-liberal pacifist) wonder why persons of colour of are so concerned with constantly re-evaluating the popular history, that they were so often haphazardly written out of. Well, here we find an example the white conservative may be able to fathom more easily.

The current corrupt ANC’s attempts at repainting themselves as the “real struggle heroes”, the “returners of land”, and the “slayers of white monopoly capital”, are pretty much the reasons why. Recent ANC history, compared to what the ANC used to be, is embarrassing the say the least. What the current ANC is doing, in how it chooses to socially re-construct South African (and African history) is nothing new, or out of the ordinary. It is pretty much what white supremacists did when they arbitrarily decided that white is right, and thumb sucked a history to go along with it.
Furthermore, Zuma is also illustrating the matter of rich, tasteless, powerful men, memorializing themselves, based on the narratives they decide. Again, a common colonial strategy, that Zuma has shown such a penchant for perpetuating. The man seems to be on a crusade to be the perfect case study for what Fanon and Mamdani have tried to tell us about colonial hangovers. Also, spoiler alert #MugabeDidItFirst.

So how to memorialise the contemporary ANC, and their Supreme Leader Jacob “The Teflon Don” Zuma. Well, definitely no rape charges, avoid any mention of state capture, definitely don’t mention corruption charges. Keep it Disney; just good ol’ stories of ‘the struggle’ blah blah. Probably throw something in there about radical economic transformation, white monopoly capital, and oh, those pesky ‘clever blacks’.

Is this ringing a bell?

The list goes on.

So, I’m sort of hoping this example might resonate more with white conservatives as it fits their general ignorant view that persons of colour are incapable of doing anything right.  Hopefully they can but extend their brains a bit, reflect, realise that many of their white heroes are no better than Zuma, and constructed a bullshit history of their own too? Probably not.

I’m also hoping persons of colour aren’t falling for the same old Dicknanigans that many of our white counterparts have fallen for throughout history, as the ANC is going full-retard with reconstructing their contemporary image. Probably more likely?

Meh, think I’ll just watch Dicknanigans again, and pretend none of this is happening.