Halloween tonight, friends! I’d like to start this by wishing HANNAH a very happy 21st Birthday! See you tonight! Due to the occasion I was thinking about playing Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’, so feel free to click the link and dance in your room, Hannah! But today is also BUCS day, and it’s our first cup game and I’m actually playing a full game this time, so need to get pumped up for that. On top of ALL THAT it’s Halloween tonight, so how to combine Halloween with pump-up music? How about some fast tempo’d aggressive song by the freakiest shit to come out of South Africa. I present you guys with Die Antwoord (The Answer).
I got introduced to this freak show of by two different sources, the legendary lanky South African friend Tim (previously mentioned) and my bow tie wearing close friend DJ Singh. At first, I absolutely hated them. Very hard to appreciate their music, Yolandi’s voice was irritating and I didn’t like her singing. I thought they were so serious and I thought the front man was a complete dickhead. This is my first and second taste of Die Antwoord.
DJ Singh had since educated me on what this group is all about. He showed me their previous acts, where they played two suit-wearing business people and went by the name of MaxNormal. From this I can see what these guys are doing. It’s just my opinion on it, so I’m almost certainly wrong, but it seems like they are setting a back-story to their group and trying to push creative boundaries within the context and constraints they set themselves. This makes me think of a concept I learnt about at a Mark Grist show at the Fringe this summer. There are a group of poets called Oulipo and they are an elite guild of sorts who set themselves ridiculously constricting rules, and by setting very tight constraints on their art, it pushes them to be so much more creative. The underlining idea is the more constraints you set, the more creative you will be.
This made me think of what these guys are doing, as they stay in character in interviews, their music is expressed in the style their context allows, and the whole music is a reflection on the characters they have created. When they were MaxNormal, they either ran out of material or found a new concept to work with. Die Antwoord are extreme, the characters they play are white ghetto artists who belong to a scene known as ‘ZEF’. ZEF is the ‘culture’ these guys are in, and this is what directs the music they make. After listening to them more, I can’t say they would be on my hangover playlist, but now I take them less seriously and see them as characters, I’m starting to appreciate what these guys are doing, and this song is just weird. I didn’t realise they have DJ Hi-Tek working with them now, and unless I’m mistaken, He’s the guy who made a name for himself being the DJ and producer to Talib Kweli. So this adds another element to why I like them.
If I weren’t going to Halloween as ¼ of KISS, I would have gone for this white and red monstrosity. But this song will hopefully get me pumped enough for today, get a huge win under our belts, then going out to rock n roll all night…see what I did there?
Hope you enjoy this, good luck. Happy Halloween people!