Sunday has always held the most precarious position of the three weekend sibling-days. From school days, the dreaded Sunday blues would descend at the thought of all the homework, assignments and studying left to the last minute. In the post-school work juggle, Sunday means either doing something productive with the day, or dealing with the aftermath of whatever you’d gotten up to the night before.
However, with Raymond Cure, a live-streaming session taking place every second Sunday, the last day before the work week has transformed into something entirely different.
Streamed from a small apartment in Cape Town, Raymond Cure, I’m told, is “the antithesis of a turn-up; something to soothe a raging hangover (despite the fact that in the beginning we just played techno).” The first one took place one Sunday late last year when Keke Mahlelebe (Jon Laura) and Nick Gordon streamed themselves playing techno on Nick’s new turntables. They saw that Luke Cassar was watching so they invited him over.
“It’s a great way to end off your weekend. When they tune in, we imagine the listener to be either still in bed or for our show to be on in the background at a chilled get-together with friends. We also have relatively busy weeks, so the weekend was the only sound option.”
“A few other people came through to that and it ended up being really fun to hang out and play music. Zia Haffejee came on board about two months after that when we realised we shared a common vision regarding local music culture, and a serious desire to interact with it. Streaming music online for your friends in South Africa or in other parts of the world (S/O to Andy and Sandy in Glasgow) can also be a really fun and good way to spend your Sunday. And the chat room always makes it worthwhile.”
Previous guest: Luca Williams – producer-singer.
Other than being a great way to spend a Sunday with friends, Raymond Cure also aims to be a vehicle that interacts with South African talent, (new and well-established) in a unique context. Thus far, guests have been sourced from the organisers’ individual friend networks, but as they work towards growing the show, they hope it will allow them to broaden their frame of reference to all kinds of South African acts that have incredible stories to share.
Live streaming has become an increasingly popular form of broadcasting in South Africa, where internet radio previously (while once potentially promising) never really found itself with a solid mainstream audience. Internationally, internet radio has morphed and changed into a form of media that provides niche audiences with more nuanced broadcasts.
The discourse around the impact of internet radio didn’t really influence the Raymond Cure crew though, despite having noted the trend and that it continues to grow.
“We are all big fans of overseas platforms like NTS, No Effects with Jesse Cohen, Boiler Room and Red Light Radio. We had a chat one day about how it’s really cool that some of those platforms sometimes shine a light onto the South African music scene but unanimously agreed on how much better it would be if there was a South African platform providing that kind of coverage, instead of having to rely on a foreign agency. Of course we are nowhere near the size or reach of any of those listed platforms, but we’d hope to position ourselves amongst them one day.”
Coincidentally, they’ve found themselves playing a leadership role within their community – having already received curious questions from a few people on how to get started on their own shows.
Previous guest: Tzara – producer-singer.
When deciding who to host, they look up showcase acts that either have something interesting to share, are easy to talk to, or show-off what South Africa has to offer musically.
“A friendly ‘catch-up’ ethos is the vibe that we strive for in our interviews.” This naturally brings about incisive talking points that prompt thoughtful responses from guests that showcase their voices in the local music community. They also enjoy showcasing and premiering someone new because it feels like they’re sharing music with people who share their passion for music culture, despite the show’s infancy.
“We are keen to get acts on the show that work hard on their art and are trying to find new avenues to push their stuff.”
When considering the combination of artists, they also enjoy curating a lineup with varied acts. “We’ve had Mzonke Maloney and Gary Morris a few shows ago and their genres are pretty disparate, but their work intersected in an interesting way. You wouldn’t otherwise make that connection without the two artists performing consecutively in the same room.”
Thus far, they’ve only interacted with Cape Town talent and note that, despite this they haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. “We also believe strongly in the value of showcasing a variety of different genres so our scope of music culture isn’t unduly restricted. In the future, we’d love to be a pit-stop for overseas artists passing through SA (still waiting on Stormzy).”
In a similar manner to artists drawing inspiration from each other, there are a handful of streaming shows that Luke, Zia and Nick enjoy.
“Luke is a big fan of No Effects with Jesse Cohen because it gives an insight into the artist’s world from someone who is on the same side of the table as them. Zia swears by Earl Sweatshirt and Knxwledge’s ‘Stay Inside’ show on RBMA Radio: it’s a treasure trove of obscure, eclectic stuff that has introduced him to a lot of great music. Quit Safari’s podcast is really good. We’re not sure if it’s still going, but the stuff we’ve heard was great. Welcome Park’s live sets are also good. They don’t necessarily follow a podcast style but they promote local acts in a similar way that we do. We recommend you check out both of their Soundcloud pages!”
Looking to the future, Raymond Cure would like to bring back the live-visual aspect of the show, which they initially had hoped to incorporate, but couldn’t due to bad internet upload speed. Since my initial contact with the Raymond Cure crew, they’d ticked off one of the items on their ‘Things We’d Like To Do In The Future’ list: they co-hosted an event called Soirée at Welcome Park x Raymond Cure Takeover.
I caught up with them to see how they enjoyed the event. “Between actually turning a profit, and having a smashing time ourselves, it’s being hailed as a resounding success for camp Raymond Cure! We’re quite familiar with the set-up over at Welcome Park, so it was interesting to be on the ‘other side’ of the party. Their soirees boast such a comfortable environment. Everyone is there for a chilled time: listening to their friends play and just appreciating the music.”
Bombardier (left) and Nick Gordon (right) during their back-to-back set as DJ El Chapo at Soirée at Welcome Park x Raymond Cure Takeover last Saturday.
The space at Welcome Park is situated at 190 Voortrekker Rd – a 10-minute drive from the CBD – and is the perfect location for a hang-out in the city, away from the city. So far, Luis Alberto Trujillo Garrido and Gary Morris have hosted seven ‘Welcome Park Soirée’s’, each aimed at providing a platform for like-minded individuals to showcase their work. “Our focus is improvised hardware jams, but we also enjoy hosting DJ’s on occasions. We plan on staying low for the winter, as our balcony gets a bit chilly, but we’ll continue events once the summer starts.”
Things are off to a good start for Raymond Cure, but considering the sincerity and friendliness of their approach to interviews, guests and events, it’s no surprise that they haven’t struggled with initial momentum.
This Sunday they’ll be hosting Alvhin Adendorff and Lapré. Alvhin co-promotes one of Cape Town’s longest-running club nights, Uppercut, and all-around excellent hard-worker in the Cape Town music landscape. Lapré is an act comprised of Rowan Blem and Benjamin McCarthy, who are fairly new on the block, but have gathered a bit of a following pretty quickly.
Check out the Raymond Cure Mixcloud for all the previous interviews and shows and be sure to head over to their Facebook page this Sunday 14 May to link through to the live streams of Alvhin and Lapré.