The Mixtape Vol. 59

SA Music Scene is a blog covering music in South Africa

Amidst the football fever of World Cup 2010 a handful of students and professionals working day jobs pooled their talents and resources to come up with a blog that would promote up-and-coming South African music. Today the people at SA Music Scene are still doing what they do for the love of the music. With a Cape Town and Johannesburg beat, the dream is to have discerning ears in every town across South Africa – offering coverage on rock, pop, punk, indie, garage, metal, psych, EDM and everything in-between. 

We spoke to the co-founder and owner of SA Music Scene, Ashley Brown, about his labour of love.

What was the first album you bought?

Fokofpolisiekar's first EP. That's saying a lot for someone who grew up in Heidelberg. People thought I was Satan himself for blasting the album over and over again while wearing the only pair of black skinny jeans I could find. 

How would you describe the current state of the SA music scene right now?

At the moment I'm reading a book by Koos Kombuis called 'Die Tyd Van Die Kombi's', where he clearly states that although the movement that he represented did not end apartheid, it did influence the fall of apartheid. They did not know exactly what they were doing to help, they did not know when change would take place, but they knew they were against the current state and that something had to change. I think that's where we, as South Africa music lovers, find ourselves now. 

What are some of the local bands you're listening to on high rotation right now? 

Without a doubt Thieve. The guys produced a world class album called Extra Ordinary, which is one of the best albums to ever come out of South Africa. You should have a listen. 

Why is local hip hop blowing up right now, while our guitar bands are in a slump? 

Blowing up? I don't believe it's blowing up really... Radio and the mainstream media have just oppressed it until now, due to a lack of knowledge. The majority of South Africans listen to hip hop, rap, kwaito, etc. but these genres haven't received the recognition that they deserve. On the statement of guitar bands, well, when last have you heard a South African guitar band really push the boundaries or find their own voice? I'm stepping on some of my best friends' toes here, but they need to get with it. That being said, listen to Thieve's Extra Ordinary album and pre-order Grassy Spark's new album when you can.

What's your favourite South African festival and why? 

It's impossible to really have a favourite. My music taste has become so broad these past few years since SA Music Scene started growing. I'm extremely excited to see what Rocking The Daisies will have to offer this year, now that it's been acquired by Steyn Entertainment. They've answered the plea of the majority and added a hip hop stage as you hopefully know. OppiKoppi, on the other hand, has announced one of the best locally diverse lineups that I've seen in years – I'm definitely making the trek this year. 

Someone once said something clever about writing about music being like dancing about architecture - thoughts?

I totally agree and sometimes wonder why we do what we do. Music is such a personal matter and no one should be able to tell you what you should or should not think or feel about it. Music is the great escape, and your taste in music is what makes you who you are. No matter what you listen to or what you’re like there'll always be someone that can relate and that's what makes it so amazing! I've reached the point of wanting to throw in the towel on this whole thing more than I can count, but when that happens another team member will take up the slack and remind me why I joined in the first place.

What's in this mix you've made us and when should we play it? 

The mix is mainly focused on what I'm listening to at the moment. I'm a rocker at heart so this only reflects a small aspect of SA Music Scene as a whole. I think music is my way of expressing emotion or dealing with everyday life. I really can't imagine doing a single task without music playing. 

When should you listen to it?

Mondays, if your boss is being a dick, if the month is too long, when a music festival is just too far away, or when your heart has been broken and you just need to become yourself again. 


Bear Hands - Giants
KONGOS - Take It From me
Biffy Clyro - Mountains
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Took Out A Loan
The Bots - Blinded
Stoker - Phillistine
Dead Lucky - King Of The Underworld
BEAST - Smoke Swig Swear
Royal Blood - Little Monster
Queens of The Stone Age - Feel Good Hit Of The Summer
Foals - Mountain At My Gates
Dune Rats - Bullshit
Cage The Elephant - Aint No Rest For The Wicked
The Dollfins - Kiss Me Quick
Francois Van Coke - Toe Vind Ek Jou ft Karen Zoid
Satanic Dagga Orgy - Don't Be Kak
The Shabeen - Quit Your Job
Nomadic Orchestra - Booya
7th Son - My Favourite Song - Wendy
The Plastics - All I Really Want
Thieve - Braindead
Jeremy Loops - Running Away ft Motheo Moleko
Shortstraw - Heaps Keen
Grassy Spark - Excuse Me
Al Bairre - Right Here In July
Sean Koch - Welcome To The Light
Hello Beautiful - Paranoia ft. Laudo Liebenberg & Danielle Hitchcock
Sibot - Arc Eyes
New Hero - I Won't Stop
PH Fat - The Whip ft Mikhaela Faye
Red Huxley - Less Is More, More A Less
Nirvana - Come As You Are