Lists, The Booth

The Booth: Anthea Duce Shares Her Inspiration for Contributing to the SA Music She Holds Dear

Anthea Duce by Jaml The Booth Platform
Original Image by Jaml / Courtesy of the Artist

This month, we have the wonderful Anthea Duce in The Booth. She is a graphic designer who forged a way into the world of parties and promoting through her earliest project, Cold Turkey.

As a Youth Specialist, she came to South Africa from the UK in the early 2000s, working on a three-year project, addressing the low pass rates in a select number of schools in Jo’burg. “It’s always been embarrassing to say that, despite the project being really good,” she says.

“One of my first musical experiences here was seeing TKZee perform at a Matric Ball in Eldorado Park. When I left the UK, I was obsessed with the underground UK garage and house scene, and I couldn’t help but try draw parallels to my tastes at the time, but it was futile. South African music for me is fiercely independent, full, and subversively political.”

Her latest (and extremely exciting) endeavour has been creating Not Sorry Club as a response to the lack of acknowledgement of womxn in the music industry.

“I’m not a DJ, or producer, I’m a visual artist who just really loves music, clubbing, and the experience of music in a club setting! Anyway, this is what I’m inspired by. I feel strangely guilty that I’m not referencing more local artists, even though the majority of work I’ve done has been about doing just that.”

The Not Sorry Club debut event will play host to Hyperdub’s London-based producer Ikonika, on Saturday 4 March. Tickets can be purchased here. Below The Bassline played host to Ikonika in Johannesburg on Saturday 25 of February, and will again in Durban on Friday 3 March.

We all want to know exactly what our favourite musicians are bumping to get a sense of where the magic (partly) comes from. The Booth is a taste of all that. This edition sees Anthea Duce sharing 5 tracks that she’s into, in no particular order:

Scintii – ‘Mica’

I’ve become a bit obsessed with the new wave of bass music coming out of Asia recently. It started with Kai Luen and the SBCVLT crew from Shanghai and has led to other discoveries like Scintii who hails from Taiwan. Her choppy ghostly vocals over percussive bass is just enchanting! There’s also a really nice mix by her and Akito on NTS radio here: 

Kai Luen – ‘The Hollow Ghost’

Kai Luen describes his stuff as spooky bass, dirty cassettes and raw dusty power which I think is a great description for it. There are all these wonderful rhythm patterns and it’s atmospheric AF! I love this title track from his recent EP and seem to play it a lot while I’m working.

Clap! Clap! – ‘Nguwe’ feat. Bongeziwe Mabandla

I went to see Bongeziwe Mabandla play in Cape Town last week and didn’t make the connection to him and this track that I’ve been playing for a couple of months now. I love it. I love the fusion of his soulful voice to the mental production of Clap! Clap! Bongeziwe’s voice paired with Clap! Clap!’s production is like eating eggs on toast with a dash of Coleman’s Dijon mustard, you didn’t expect it to work but it’s just perfect.

Jumping Back Slash – ‘Fall in Luv’

I can’t help myself with this track, and it could’ve been any of his recent work from the new Slow Oceans EP, especially ‘In The Void’ feat. Hlasko and Shane Cooper, but this particular track just hits me in the feels. It’s probably because I’m a sentimental old lady and the fact that I fell in love with my partner around the same time, but I’d also like to think it just shows Jaybles’ great skill at paired down production and use of vocals that somehow gets you into a wonderful state. He started a mix for Spoek Mathambo’s project Future Sounds of Mzanzi with this track and then unapologetically went straight into a darker Gqom track, and I sometimes wish I could just live inside that moment, it’s so satisfying.

DJ Lag – ‘Live Gqom Mix at Boiler Room’

I’m struggling with my fifth selection. I think it’s best to post a mix as I mostly listen to mixes while I’m working. It’s great hearing an artist’s own selection and how they work that story. One of my current favourites is the DJ Lag Boiler Room set in Johannesburg last year. He’s such a quiet subdued guy but then plays this powerful music that demands your attention, your whole senses. You also can’t listen to a gqom track on its own. The artistry of the gqom style is in how it’s played as a whole experience and in that sense Lag is hypnotically masterful.

Tickets to Not Sorry Club’s debut event on the 4th of March can be purchased here

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