Tag Archives: Theo Kotz

Future Sounds of Mzansi: Friday 13th March

Theo Kotz previews the Manchester screening of Future Sounds of Mzansi, a journey through the music of the townships, the cape and more

This Friday Oh Bacchanal! is bringing a Manchester first screening Future Sound of Mzansi at Islington Mill. After which the party is on with the man himself, Spoek Mathambo spinning tunes from the townships.

Oh Bacchanal! have been making waves in recent months with their regular shows at The Zombie Shack and Overproof and alongside Spoek, resident Bachannal Ronin brings  his selection of Tropical
bangers into the melting pot. Have a listen to this mix for a little taste:

The Film itself is an in-depth look at the musical landscape of South Africa, chock-full of inspirational tales and words of wisdom and insight from some of the country’s most renowned artists, as well as some exciting newcomers. These span from the township grooves of DJ Spoko and DJ Mustava (who as a pair are responsible for Township Funk – A monumental tune and the scene’s largest global hit to date) and the heart and soul of House in SA – Black Coffee, to the ethereal soundscapes of Felix Laband and the fun-loving experimentation of John Wizards.

Lebogang Rasethaba and Spoek Mathambo - Photographer credit Justice Mukheli 2

The film does much to celebrate and spread the staggering wealth of undeniable talent from this most beautiful and diverse of countries – all through the lens of Nthato Mokagata. Spoek Mathambo, as he’s more widely known, is SA’s own renaissance man, a truly singular talent who’s Midas Touch it would seem knows no bounds.

Spoek is an Artist, Producer, DJ, Songwriter, Rapper and, latterly, filmmaker. His latest solo album Father Creeper was released in 2012. More recently he, Andrew Geldenhuys, Bhekisenzo Cele, Michael Buchanan formed Fantasma along with another titan of South African electronic music: DJ Spoko. Their recent show in London (5th march) was a triumph despite the absence of Spoko and Geldenhuys due to problems with Visas. Their debut full-length Free Love was released Monday 9th March. It’s a stormer and you can stream on YouTube below.

There will be a Q&A with Spoek Mathambo after the screening.


When: Friday 13 March 2015, 7.30pm

Where: Islington Mill

How much: £16

Buy tickets here


Dialect – Advanced Myth – Review

Tasty Morsels are both internet label and collection of friends with a refreshingly playful approach to making music; with artist names like ‘Cute Boobs’ and mixtapes called Life on Wheels: Music To Play Tony Hawk To. Their releases are wonderfully done, Lo-Fi pop master-strokes. Life on Wheels is particularly great; call it Psychedelic Hip-Jazz interspersed with hilarious audio clips. Something along the lines of Onra’s Chinoiseries or The Avalanches’ Since I left you.  

Next up from them is Advanced Myth by Dialect. It’s a continuous roll of beautifully crafted, wide-open soundscapes and maritime flavoured Jazz meanderings. The scope of the background sounds and outdoor ambience is pretty staggering. It means the record creaks and heaves, scattered with the ghostly whispers of life on these isles: birdsong, a football match, Jungle breaks speeding by.

The whole thing seems like it’s underwater, like a dream sequence in a film viewed through some aquamarine lens. Opener ‘Developers’ begins with an uneasy kaleidoscopic refrain that flits in and out of a deep rumble, warning of some empty depths before a burst of sunlight pierces the mire, filling the space with a shimmering glow. ‘You better wake up’ we hear, all the while coaxed into staying firmly in the dream.

It’s a continuous piece of music but there are high-points. Hung Rose dances like an oriental firefly skipping around the mysterious half-light between night and dawn. Jabba‘s pulsating synths and low bottom carry a menace absent from the rest of the album whereas album centrepiece Chroma is undeniable. It’s serene claps and languorous and good humoured horns build slowly before being drenched in the album’s only vocals before washing away like a spent wave.

Advanced Myth by Dialect is released free via the Tasty Morsels website tomorrow (14th Feb). You can check out the beautiful video for Chroma below as premièred by Dummy Mag.

Stream it now via Soundcloud

M20MIX #6 Back Again for 2015

Black Rivers – Voyager 1 (Applescal Dub)

Manchester heavyweights Doves went on hiatus in 2010 and March of last year saw the release of lead singer Jimi Goodwin’s debut solo L.P. ‘Odludek’ on Heavenly Records. now comes the turn of brothers Jez and Andy Williams who made up the rest of Doves. This is a remix of their latest single, by Dutch producer Applescal, adding a driving groove to spiralling keys and ethereal vocal sounds. they’re called Black Rivers and their self-titled debut album dropped Monday the 9th of Feb.

Last Harbour – Fracture/Fragment

Channelling Ian Curtis and Nick Cave, lead singer K. Craig paints a picture like a David Lynch movie. The tune builds from a brooding beginning to a dark and hopeless crescendo. It’s an intense listening experience but ultimately a rewarding one. Last Harbour’s 6th full length: ‘Caul’ was released on Manchester record label Gizeh on the 9th of Feb.

Shield Patterns – Silver

Shield Patterns tread a path not dissimilar to Portishead, Darkness and Light wrestle for control, neither succeed, and it’s a good thing too. Claire Brentnall’s vocals bears more than a passing resemblance to Beth Gibbons’ but it’s no easy feat to make tunes with this much space feel so intimate and close. The duo’s last L.P. ‘Contour Lines’ has been out since June last year, the new E.P. ‘Violet’ follows on the 9th of March. This is the second track on this list released by Gizeh, get to know.

Ash Mountain – Long Hair Down

A whole lot of fun. Ash Mountain make music in Manchester direct from the swamps and porches of the deep south. This is my favourite from the Manchester Spins #1 record. Manchester Spins is a vinyl-promoting project from Yvonne G. Rybka Erskine and associated Manchester artists (based out of the Bay Horse in the Northern Quarter). The artwork for the sleeve is designed by Trevor Johnson who has done the same for a host of Manchester legends (808 state & New Order to name just a couple). The record was launched on record store day last year and although there’s no news of a follow up, here’s hoping they’ll release another this year.

Punctum – Cocaine Juggernaut

The name alone tells you this is one to take notice of. The track is an assault of bass and drums but somehow space and echo take centre stage. The tune is a monster full of brooding menace and I loved it from the first second.

Punctum is the recording moniker of a certain David McLean, head of Tombed Vision, a label that releases cassettes of some truly incredible music. Expect to see some of their releases in this space in the coming months. This track is from the ‘Unexplained Bleeding’ tape from March 2014 on Salford cassette label: Tesla Tapes.


O>L>A – Fold Time

Dreamy, fragile and emotive, but with a groove and a drive nonetheless. ‘One Little Atlas’ make big picturesque tunes and it’s no surprise they’re a favourite of Video Jam, who are putting together an hour long series of collaborations between musicians and filmmakers for the reopening of the Whitworth Art Gallery on Saturday (14th). There’s going to be an amazing amount of stuff happening over the whole weekend so get yourself down. This track is from their debut self-titled album with Desty Records released last year.

Thom Bellini – Don’t Be Shy

Thomas Bellini was a member of insanely catchy indie band Egyptian Hip-Hop, initially as a session musician and later a more prominent member involved in songwriting. It’s another dreamy soundscape and it’s probably the most beautiful track on this list. Vocals and guitar dance and echo around each other while the bassline has a hint of the G-Funk about it which throws the tune left off the beaten track. It’s a wonderful little number. Bellini Plays Megajam at Soup Kitchen on Friday (13th) along with old band mate Aldous RH and Irma Vep. This track is from the ‘A Lost Art’ E.P. released on the 5th of January this year.


M20MIX #4

Naked (On Drugs) – This Gift

The intro announces this tune like a clarion call to the damned. Hardcore style drums propel this along at a frightening speed into the myriad of eerie sounds of the night. By the time it’s all over you’ll wonder what the hell happened and want to get back on the ride.

Aphex Twin – minipops67 ( 120.2 ) ( source field mix )

Alright so you’ve heard it already. Still; it’s Aphex Twin, it’s new, it’s class… what the fuck else have I been listening to?


Sounds like if the Adams Family started wiggin’ out to the band from Dusk ‘til Dawn in a tomb, or something. It’s loud, there’s howling, I love it.

Douga – Kids of Tomorrow

The first track off the album ‘The Silent Well’. The album is full of irrepressible melodies like this one coupled off-kilter sounds and textures. I recommend the whole thing. This one sounds like The Charlatans, which isn’t a bad thing.

Trus’me – I want you (Alan Fitzpatrick RMX)

The latest released on Trus’me’s label Prime Numbers sees Trus’me’s triumphant Treat Me Right remixed. This cut is aimed right at the dancefloor’s temple. The vocal is delightfully fucked up, the hats are insatiable and the underwater synths that hit halfway elevate this into something special.

Garth Be – Monday Club/Tuesday Nite

Manchester’s own Garth BE released The Seven Movements in the spring to universal acclaim. With ultra-tight grooves and an abundance of soul it covers all corners of the dancefloor. This track is a smooth roller, with an African-tinged beat and deliciously crafted synths over a vocal urging you ‘on and on’. The USA import edition of The Seven Movements is released Monday (15th September) at Piccadilly Records on ultra-high quality 180 gram vinyl. There’s only 300 copies too so get on it!

Buena Vista Social Club – Chan Chan

I got drunk drinking wine and listening to this the other day, it was something of a re-revelation. Ry Cooder met Juan de Marcos González sometime in the 90’s, and together they recorded with a load of veteran Cuban musicians that had played at the social club of the same name some 50 years previously. The result was this.

Theo Kotz

M20MIX #3

Off the back of how much I love this Mothership Connection track this week’s playlist was re-written and it’s pretty heavy on the Room2records.

Mothership Connection – Celladwelladelica

The instrumental is so good. There’s a horn sample in this kills me. Every verse sits flush and the chorus is a wicked bookend. I’ve had this on repeat since I heard it on Sunday.

Cheech x Morriarchi – Def Drop 3D

Cheech the Grim Reefer is one of Mothership and the E.P Kush garden produced by Morriarti was out a couple months ago on Room2. The eastern sitar sound on this track had me hooked. Besides he’s got one of the best draw-inspired names I’ve ever heard.

Dom Hz – Poppy and Soul (ft. Bricks)

Another one from Room2. This was also released earlier this summer. An easy instrumental this one, the production reminds me of Falty DL with that soulful shuffle.

Black Josh – Bedtimerz (ft. Truthos & Dyslexis, prod. by Styn)

Another killer instrumental underneath this one. A lazy saxophone floats over this beat and it’s a beaut. The harmonies are subtle and the jazz sensibility stays at the fore throughout.

Gang Starr – Jazz Thing

The jazz in all of these inevitably had me back at this track. Square one for Jazz meets hip hop. The track was originally intended to be Guru reading a history of Jazz poem written by Lolis Eric Elie, put to a Jazz sampling Hip Hop track which was DJ Premier’s signature. Guru used parts of the poem and the result was this. In my opinion one of the greatest tunes of all time.

The Fall – Mr Pharmacist

It would have been John Peel’s birthday on Sunday were he still alive. The Fall were well known to be a favourite of his and this is on his Fabriclive Mix. The Fall are also without a doubt one of the best bands from Greater Manchester, and this cover of The Other Half is fucking great.


Theo Kotz

M20MIX #2

Some songs from some people from Manchester or nearby. And John Cale.

Cactus Knife – Adlington Widow

Cactus knife play the free gig Friday at the Bay Horse on the 29th of this month. Dreamy and slick with a killer release. The video’s pretty cool too.

MONEY – The Shadow of Heaven

A class band from Manchester signed to Bella Union (Flaming lips, The Walkmen, Xiu Xiu). I love this tune. Fragile, beautiful and full of soul. Video director Liam Healy also does a wicked job.

Kiran Leonard – Geraldo’s farm

An artist from Oldham who’s album ‘Bowler Hat Soup’ showcases what a mad range of styles he is comfortable with. This is one of the wilder tracks on there and this recording from the 6Music festival at the Victoria Warehouse is wilder still.

AnD – All Seeing Eye

The Manchester duo’s latest release on Berlin-based label Repitch Recordings. Raw, uncompromising techno, play it loud.

John Cale – Paris 1919

John Cale founded the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed and was responsible for the droning viola that characterized so much of their best early work. Since then he has continued to make amazing albums and musical scores. What a man, what a tune

Theo Kotz

M20MIX #1

A weekly mix of Manc’s best tunes new and old from TK…

Seeing as the summer seems to have taken a turn toward the unpredictable, cup your ears in the direction of a few of these. You might just forget all about Big Hurricane Bertha.

Ultimate Painting – Ultimate Painting

Delightfully summery song built around a gem of a riff. Ultimate Painting are Jack Cooper and James Hoare and they are playing tonight (Thursday 14th August) at The Castle Hotel on Oldham Street.

Mazes – Bodies Hookworms remix

Rolling through a hazy hot summer’s evening. Hookworms add their now-signature touch on this from Mazes who formed in Manchester and are Jack Cooper’s other project.

Elbow – Honey Sun

The title says it all. Consistently brilliant for over a decade, Elbow continue to quietly fly the flag for Manchester. This song comes from their new record ‘The take off and landing of everything’. (Also have a listen to Real Life (Angel) and the Title track)

Hookworms – Teen Dreams

Featuring again in this week’s playlist. Hookworms are a band from Leeds who recently curated two nights at the Islington Mill called Lost Weekend. Hailed as one of the best live bands on the circuit right now and listening to the avant-noise-groove evident on songs like this one, it’s not hard to imagine why. Feel the heat.

Orlando Volcano – Lost Chances (feat. Brendan William Jenkinson)

Ambient and soulful, this tune comes from an Irishman based in Brooklyn and couldn’t sound any further from the concrete jungle. Proper dreamy.

Phil Phillips – Sea of Love

This one’s got a good 50 years on the rest. It was a hit then and it’s a hit now and no mistake.

— TK