South African music: play it by ear

Music – not hooting minibus taxis or the drone of vuvuzelas – provides SA’s real soundtrack. In a country with more music genres than official languages, there’s certainly a playlist just for you. From BLK JKS to Miriam Makeba and TKZee to Lira, South African Music Awards judge Nils van der Linden offers his picks.

Music Reviews

‘Who do you trust?’ demand Cassette

“What was it that you slipped inside my drink?/ Maybe poison?” Jon Savage demands on the enigmatic fist-pumper ‘Who Do You Trust’.

No need to be so paranoid, man. His group’s second album – a quietly confident collection of steroid-enhanced stadium rockers, sleek pop anthems, and genuinely heartfelt ballads – is what few others achieve: intelligent, adventurous and damn near impossible to get out of your head.

Interviews Music

Vusi Mahlasela lights the way

“I wish politicians would realise that they can change the world if they work together like musicians collaborating, the world would be very different place,” sighs the man who has teamed up with the likes of Dave Matthews, Josh Groban and now Soweto Gospel Choir.

Vusi Mahlasela should know — for the past 30 years, he has embraced political and social messages that celebrate the importance of reaching out to others. Themes of conciliation and forgiveness run through his songs like the proverbial river through the desert.