Some Mma Tseleng projects in print
Valley of Hillbrow is a map of Kwaito, my contribution to Not No Place: Johannesburg. Fragments of Spaces and Times by Bettina Malcomess & Dorothee Kreutzfeldt, 2013. Get the book at major bookstores.
A Family Tree – 1993-2003: Mma Tseleng Review is a roll-call of Bubblegum and Kwaito pioneers and significant players, featured in the self-published CCTV: A zine for local ideas in global practice, 2012. Get CCTV from me.
Hillbrow, The Map is a cassette sleeve publication and a mixtape produced with Kadromatt on occasion of Francis Burger’s Independent Publishing Project in 2012. The project takes a view early Kwaito beefs, taking cues from King of Kwaito Uyagawula (Brothers of Peace), Masimbela (TKZee f/ Sbu MaLawyer) and We Miss You Boom Shaka (Brothers of Peace/Kalawa Jazzmee Records). The publication was a limited edition of 12, 1 left for my archives. More on the industry beef here.
Forthcoming projects includes a text on the history of club music in Joburg as part of the Ten Cities project, another on the Kwaito’s ambivalent family tree for the project, The Space Between Us as well as gigs in Strasbourg (France), Berlin (Germany) and Kiev (Ukraine). Check the posts for more info.
Thath’i Cover Okestra
An 11-piece orchestra that revisions Kwaito classics
At the launch of Shoe Shop | Sunday 6 May 12 | The Drill Hall Precinct
Interested in the nostalgic meaning of music, rather than the trendy, Mma Tseleng sees music as a marker of time. As Universal Consciousness (via Alice Coltrane), themes rather than message are more significant to Mma Tseleng. His sets are always themed, from tributes to period-pieces, remixes to lost love, Mma Tseleng is interested in the dialogue that artists initiate between their audiences and peers.
Of particular interest to Mma Tseleng is Kwaito, a South African electronic dance genre that emerged circa 1994. The period between 1994 and 2004 is defined by innovative, prolific production by young, mostly black youth. Combining elements of Chicago house, hip hop, South African disco and bubblegum, as well as R&B, soul, mbanqanga, drum & bass and ragga, the Kwaito genre expressed vibrant, critical and street smart youth perspectives post-liberation struggle.
The same period was also marked by a desire to move away from the label of Kwaito. Earlier attempts includes Kalawa Jazmee’s Digong and Gong, a result of a collaboration between Lindelani Mkhize and Joe Nina. The last notable attempt was TKZee Family’s Guz, between 1998 and 2001.
Mma Tseleng considers this particular era in Kwaito an important cultural contribution that dwarves many other cultural outputs of South Africa. As an accessible medium that bangs from bedrooms to taxi ranks, street bashes to ANC rallies, Kwaito manifested all what freedom aspires to. From freedom of speech to economic emancipation (DIY nogal), Kwaito was the bastard-child the community loved to hate. A spit at many injustices and contradictions of a new society, Kwaito irritated many (including two-faced music industry executives) but its creators and audiences. Today, gogos and the presidents ass-shake to the sound they used to label vulgar and monotonous.
Mma Tseleng’s projects go beyond the celebration of 94-04 Kwaito. His projects seek to historicise Kwaito’s significance. Towards this, Mma Tseleng (Rangoato Hlasane) and Kadromatt (Malose Malahlela) are co-curating an 11 piece orchestra that revisions Kwaito classics to perform at the launch of Shoe Shop on 6 May 2012 at the Drill Hall, Johannesburg. Shoe Shop is a project by Dr. Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, supported by the Goethe Institut SA.