Domus Mixtape #7: The Sound of Johannesburg

BLK JKS and Athi-Patra Ruga team up to provide a wide swath of Johannesburg's textures and genres, weaving a powerful and challenging narrative that jumpstarts from the streets and shines light on the unlit corners from houses to basements, warehouses to skyscrapers.


Domus Mixtapes
are curated by: Daniel Perlin
Photograph by: George Mahashe

Automaton Town, 8 am:
"...it's not that they needed my purse" said the Shangaan queen as she scraped herself of the pavement. In this neckothawoods woods...Pritchard Street, this is a common sound at this time...Pikitup...the chariot that makes sure our streets are clean...for just a few secs... makes sure that ...clean from whom...what?
Turn head to left...if you please.
"Nazoya Masa Na Ngayi"...is probably the most disapointing reply...it has a weird scratchy sound that can easily be mistaken for Sis Thembi's sixty-year old skin when the last hit of the china white...an operator will be with you in exactly a few second...When!!?...don't be impatient Masa!!!...Nazoya...j'arrive!!!
When one is asked about the sound-makers of Johannesburg, they would rather block it out, as it is banshee-like: from the jonesing "lady of easy leisure"...being told of the eminent return of the dealer in Lingala, to the imagined sound of a young queenie-man, whose look and demeanor evokes an egg egg complete with couture courtesy of the Face Magazine (RIP) being scraped of the hot pavement in February. As these sounds tell you if you are in a position to have...or not to have...afford...silence.
Like that's all...?
HONK!!!
"Hey f'tsek* …s'tabane**."..."Did someone say EasterBunny...?" No you heard right...don't you know that Mini's/Neon colors/swinging hipenbuns that chant "June/July/June/July..." will get you sorted-out this side of town...?
Like FASTFAST.
Maybe if you were in the North the sounds will take your minds eye to a faaaaar better place...nasal sounds that can make a simple "Rory has been hanging out with that Khumalo kid waaaay too much." sound like "Laaaaahaaa doll"...irrigation hose...dogs that are quite selective as to who they bark at...they like us reside in a perpetual ellipses...the conversations are more often than not caught in end tails...wanna join in?
WOOFbowWow...
No! Don't worry. It's not at you queenie. Bitches are scheming don't play igno'.
Athi-Patra Ruga

* F'tsek: to literally bugger off. Applies to both man and dog...it hurts more for man.
**S'tabane: a derogatory term of affection for a gay boy. It's homophone is an EasterBunny.


There is a lot of talk about what Johannesburg is, what it was and what it is becoming. It is a city in, perhaps eternal, transition. This is a privilege for us, the people who call it ours. We can make Johannesburg whatever we want it to be. The city is here, asking us to shape it. While some look to European cities and envy their long established routines, venues and structures in the arts, there are those of us who see the blank canvas and embrace it. We see what we want our city to be, we see it's place in the world, and we see the importance of our contributions. We have a dream and we want to make it reality.
BLK JKS SNDSYSTM
Tracklist
1. LETTA MBULU — NOMALIZO / Athi-Patra Ruga #1
2. SPIKIRI — MONEY TALKS
3. Athi-Patra Ruga #2
4. DIRTY PARAFFIN — EXHIBIT A
5. SKELETON CREW — INVISIBLE CITIES (the burning piano David KRUT eBOOK podcast interview)
6. GIVAN LOTZ — EASY NOW
7. FELIX LaBAND — JESUS AT THE TABLE
8. CHLLNGR ft BLK JKS, MO LAUDI of the very best and SPOEK MATHAMBO — ASK FOR (remix)
9. US KIDS KNOW — PROBLEMS
10. HUGH MASEKELA — NIGHTS IN TUNISIA /Athi-Patra Ruga #3
11. PROFESSOR — IJIMAPI LEWEIGHT
12. Athi-Patra Ruga #4
13. TSHE TSHA BOYS — UYAKWINI NA ROSE (where are you going?)
14. POLYPHONIC&SERENGETI — LATELY (remixed by JOAO ORECCHIA)
15. Athi-Patra Ruga #5
16. BLK JKS and THANDISWA MAZWAI for the ZAR ORKESTRE — UKUTHULA (cover)
BLK JKS SNDSYSTM : Founded in 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the indie rock act BLK JKS is comprised of guitarists Lindani Buthelezi and Mpumi Mcata, who grew up together in Johannesburg's East Rand, and Soweto natives Molefi Makananise (bass) and Tshepang Ramoba (drums). After the band's current lineup took shape with the addition of bassist Molefi and drummer Tshepang, both of Soweto, they embarked on a heavy touring schedule throughout South Africa that earned them a large international following. Their most recent record, the EP Zol! on Secretly Canadian was released just in advance of their performance at the World Cup 2010 kickoff concert in South Africa, they share music here with us as BLKJKSSNDSYSTM.

Athi-Patra Ruga: Exploring the border-zones between fashion, performance and contemporary art, Athi-Patra Ruga makes work that exposes and subverts the body in relation to structure, ideology and politics. Recent exhibitions include: Beauty and Pleasure in Contemporary South African Art at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway; the Guangzhou Trienalle in China,Ampersand at the Daimler Collection (Berlin); _ A Life Less Ordinary - Performance and Display in South African Art_, (UK); For Those Who Live in It - Pop culture Politics and Strong Voices, MU (Holland), Athi-Patra Ruga - The Works,Solo Exhibition at FRED (London); Dak'Art - Biennale of African Contemporary Art (Dakar).He has been selected for the upcoming Perfoma 11- visual art performance biennial.Athi-Patra Ruga was also recently included in the Phaidon book 'Younger Than Jesus,' a directory of over 500 of the world's best artists under the age of 33. His works form part of private public and museum collections here and abroad, namely: Museion - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano Italy; CAAC-Pigozzi Collection; The Wedge Collection, Iziko South African National Gallery.

Mixed by N-RON with amazing support from Missla Libsekal and Wills Glasspiegel .

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