It’s been a long meditative wait to receive yet another pleasant sting of the ‘wake up and smell the Ubuntu’ injection from “Fresh, futuristik, flame-flow-freeking, zef rap-rave krew from da dark dangerous depths of Afrika”- Die Antwoord, as they so brilliantly put it.
NINJA, Yolandi and DJ HI-Tek, along with a few surprise guest acts, have been busy conjuring up the black magic that is their new album DONKERMAG for about two years now. The ironic zef-culture appropriating rap group were supposed to be a figment of history by now; an explosion of artistic culture-vomit projecting through a tare in the fabric of the wrong end of the universe who were much too rare a species to be kikckin’ it for long. But they have surprised us, and themselves by out-living their prophesied expiration date.
A project which was originally meant to last only 3 years has now stretched to 5, much to the delight of their enthralled cult following. DONKERMAG is set to be dropped from the insidious realm of their self-made label Zef Recordz ‘now now’, which in South African terms means right now, or very soon.
Die Antwoord have been the soundtrack to many a confusing time in my life.Their intelligent spin on self-parody flicks a switch in the brain, reminding us that we’re human, and that we’re still alive. More importantly, Die Antwoord remind us to chill the f*** out. So often it is that we lose ourselves in study, work and the daily maze of regimes we’ve constructed for ourselves, that we forget we are alive and abound with opportunities and possibilities.
So often it is that we experience the deadening sensation of helplessly sinking into the quick sand that is inertia; slipping into national unconsciousness, wrapped up in the tiny insignificant details of every day life and media distraction-campaigns that we forget to breathe and be ourselves. Groups like Die Antwoord (If there is a group like Die Antwoord) thrust us from our involuntary slumber and blast away the dead cells floating around in our heads.
I listen to this group to wake me up, almost like I’m pressing the ‘refresh’ key on my life. Their dark and twisted form of unashamed expressionism is a brief holiday from ‘real life’ and the dull realities we surround ourselves with in order to feel safe.
The liberating force that is Die Antwoord are rumoured to be collaborating on DONKERMAG with the equally twisted Aphex Twin, who’s been infiltrating our brain boxes long before I had the capacity to understand such sardonic delights.
Watkin Tudor Jones, aka NINJA, has this to say about DONKERMAG’s pending release:
NINJA and Yolandi r in HI-Teks studio everyday workin hard on our most powerful spel yet. We’v been workin on DONKERMAG 4 about 2 yrz now we thought we wud be finisht by dis time. But we kept makin up new songs by accident. Dis shit is so good. Sooooo so good. I want 2 get stoned and bump da f**** s*** out of DONKERMAG worse dan any1. Again don’t worry. U wont be sorry for long. Our 1st single features 1 of my oldest friendz in da hole universe. 1 cannot rush such magick. Thank u 4 yor patience. Don’t hate me x
All my love,
Some critics and even some former die hard fans say that Die Antwoord have overstayed their welcome in the music industry and that their image and message has now run its course to the extent that it has become insulting. Yolandi’s sexual freedom, which once made her an alternative sort of feminist icon, has now, as said by some, become too trashy and definitive of her and no longer stands as an ironic statement but just simply plonks her into the unending category of girls disrobing for fame.
But I disagree with this criticism. The music industry is awash with all the same artists, doing the same thing, sending out the same messages, just with a different face on the album cover. I think we need more outrageous groups like this to spark our childish imaginations from beneath the layers of damage done to our psyche by the trials and tribulations of growing up.
Instead of brooding over heart ache and a crumbled society destroyed by a corrupted system of governance, maybe now and again we need to go wild and just be. From a female point of view, I think Yolandi Vi$$er is being comically misinterpreted.
So as it’s Friday and I’m feeling in the spirit, I say drop the laptops and grown-up stuff and go out and have as much fun as possible this weekend.
You can catch Die Antwoord live on their DONKERMAG world tour which kicks off May 22 2014 in Vancouver.
Watch Cookie Thumper! here!