FILM AFRICA FESTIVAL BLOG – FUTURE SOUNDS OF MZANSI REVIEW

For those who may not know, Mzansi is the Xhosa word for South Africa. When I think of South African music I think of the likes of Miriam Makeba, Yvonne Chaka Chaks and Brenda Fassie. Watching Future Sounds of the Mzansi exposed me to what else was happening down town in South Africa

Now, who doesn’t appreciate music and dance? Definitely not the Mzansi!In the documentary, DJ Rocksliver explains the effect of music in a way that I could not agree with more:

”Music makes you feel happy, music makes you feel like dancing, and even when you celebrate a bonus in your pay you listen to music .”

Future Sounds of the Mzani showcases artists, producers and DJs representing musical talent from across South Africa. We are treated to the sounds of different cities.

It successfully conveys to the viewer that in South Africa, there is a large Electronic Music Scene. Throughout, we are introduced to the different sub – genres that have emanated from it such as House, Qjom and Durban Kwatio.

One interesting point observed in the documentary concerns the evolution of music. Remember the days when everyone was recording in a studio or trying to get signed to a record label. Luckily for today’s generation, we have the Internet. This has introduced musicians to the useful resources of Sound Cloud and YouTube. The potential disadvantage here of course is that this same useful resource increases the chance of more disposable and low-quality music being produced.

What is further interesting about Future Sounds of the Mzansi, is the distinct difference in regional styles. The Johannesburg people are different for the Cape Town folks who are also different to the Pretorians. In Durban, for example, they know how to create a good soulful beat and dance in a particular Durban way. Listen, for example, to Quon revolution

The story of the DJ Mujuva is particularly exciting, this is a DJ who promotes his music by distributing it to taxi drivers and is able to catch the attention of young students.

The topic of black and white South Africans is also touched upon. DJ Jumping Back Slash is a white Englishman who moves from the UK to live in South Africa. He mentions his love for the culture, the people and the music and its influence on his own music. As a white man playing black music, He is unsure as to whether he has a right to do that but he is simply happy doing something he loves.

Throughout the film I tapped my foot and nodded my head in tune with the different South African beats. My iTunes library will surely have a much wider variety after watching this film. My music horizon has surely been expanded. I believe yours too will be if you manage to get to watch this highly educative film.

Thank you Jennifer Amankwa for your review. There’s little more to say other than buy your tickets now and stay at the Hackney Picturehouse so you can show your appreciation for great African music at the Film Africa Closing Night Party!

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