Okzharp was initially introduced to us as one part of LV – the trio who produced the Hyperdub-flavoured international pantsula anthems of ‘Sebenza’ , ‘Inhliziyo Yami Izibozi’ (with SA’s Das Kapital) and ‘Sssnake’, all featuring now-embattled emcee Okmalumkoolkat. Maintaining a low-key online presence, he has been back and forth between ZA and the UK over the past few years, with what is likely the majority of 2016 being dedicated to collaborations with the wonderfully enigmatic heartthrob, Manthe Ribane.
Together they released the stellar video for ‘Dear Ribane’ at the end of September 2015 as the leading single off their collab EP, Dumela 113. The track does some serious bragging for both of its creators, as she delivers a stunningly charismatic vocal and dance performance drenched in style and grace; set against impressive refrain from Okzharp, whose production blends seamlessly from moody and sparse to driving and rhythmic.
Since (and before) then they have been focused on their film project, Ghost Diamond. The film, which is about 30 minutes in length and backed by SA-UK Seasons (2014/2015), is directed by Chris Saunders and shot and edited by Deon Van Zyl.
It stars Manthe Ribane, styled by Jamal Nxedlana/Misshape, the graphics and animations are by Optigram and the soundtrack is by Okzharp featuring Manthe Ribane, Zaki Ibrahim and Petite Noir.
Ghost Diamond screened earlier this month in London and Wednesday night at the Bioscope in Maboneng – ahead of the Red Bull Academy Weekender where Okzharp and Ribane will be performing together on Saturday evening at 1 Fox in Newton at 19h30.
Don’t sleep on this.
We repeat. Do not sleep on this.
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. Okzharp has shared with us 5 tracks that he’s into, in no particular order:
“These are 5 tracks by Scratcha DVA. I restricted myself to his own officially released stuff on YouTube. That means there are none of his club tracks, dubs, versions, remixes and other things he has done on this list.”
DVA x Addison Groove – ‘Allyallrecords’
This is beautifully other. But sometimes nothing else quite hits the spot. Some kind of weird magic happens at 1:35 though, check it. The flip side is a collaboration with Mickey Pearce called ‘Spoon Bender’ that is also other. Play it to the house-head in your life and watch them squirm.
Trim – ‘Sweetboy’
The amazing Trim bars from his first mixtape, I’ve had too many drunk chats analyzing these lyrics. The amazing hook that doesn’t quite work but is completely perfect. …but the music! For a while I was obsessed with this instrumental, then a few years ago I was doing a DJ gig with Scratcha in Cape Town and he just casually mentioned that it was one of his old ones. There’s also a great version by Zoe featuring Scorcher called ‘Come Let’s Fly’ over the same instrumental but it’s not on YouTube.
DVA – ‘Natty’
This was skittering around the best dances for a while before he got Fatima in for the Soule Power EP version.
DVA – ‘Take It All’
This song is a great example of something he does in lots of his music, which is combine extremely fierce elements with extremely delicate elements. It’s a vocal version of this which is a classic and was the first release on his own label.
DVA – ‘Where I Belong’
Until you’ve heard this on speakers the size of a bus you haven’t really lived. I remember Kode9 ending a set with it somewhere ages ago and feeling feelings. I suppose I was unsurprised when I heard it later as the first track on Scratcha’s album, it couldn’t really have been anyone else. The Dean Blunt video nails it too. I have been known to play air-trombone to this tune.
Catch Okzharp and Manthe Ribane at RBMA Weekender Johannesburg at 1Fox on Saturday, alongside NZ’s Fat Freddy’s Drop, AKA, Patoranking, Moonchild and so many more…