My Ears Have Been Tuned

While I enjoy listening to most kinds of music (as long as it’s good), one genre I almost actively avoid is Afrikaans music, when possible. Don’t ask me why, but perhaps it has to do with the vast amounts of crap out there in my other mother tongue. It’s almost like I just can’t bear taking the chance of stumbling upon any of it on say, YouTube, while trying to listen to the good stuff. I simply can’t expose my ears to it.

However, I suspect this is not unique to South Africa and Afrikaans.

But I digress. Recently I somehow ended up with a whole CD, 11 songs strong, of Afrikaans music in my hand, with a request to let me know what I think. Plaster big smile on face. Urgh, stress! F*ck, damn it. While I often bandy my opinion about, such as on this wee blog, I certainly like to keep most of it to things that pertain to me. This way, I can offend only myself. With the exception when it’s someone else doing something 1)  totally rad, or 2) totally bad.

Nevertheless, the next morning, I arrived at work with a slight headache (the CD handover had happened in a local pub), so I decided that this would be a good litmus test. New music, genre even, with a headache and fog-riddled mind. But I work on a Mac, so had to go and look for an external CD player first. Plugged it all in, inserted the CD and it started playing. Great scott! Yech, what was that horrible sound? Well, as they say in Afrikaans… My gemoed het in my skoene gesak. How to report on this, the first chink in the armour, I worried? Gawd, more coffee seemed the solution. And then plugging in my earphones correctly. Oh, the relief…!

Anyway, shortly after this discovery, work interrupted my morning listening session and then my attempt at an afternoon session, so I eventually gave up and returned the CD to my handbag, knowing that I could listen to it in my car on my way home sans interruption.

Be that as it may, I ended up only being able to listen to it properly over the weekend, while doing some freelance work. Already not too pleased at my self-induced fate, I decided to crank it up so that I could give it a decent listen. Well, what can I say? Those crappy headphones at work will have to be replaced. I woke up a few days on with one of the songs (Nos Amanos Mocambique) in my head, later tapping my foot on the brake/petrol pedals in the returned morning school/student/work traffic. It’s always good to have quality traffic detractors.

I suppose this is a good time to tell you who the hell I’m talking about? Well, I suggest you head over to the Akkedis Facebook page to see when their next show is and pull in. The chance is very good that they’ll play quite a few of the songs from Onder Ou Tafelberg, said CD. It can be bought online at VH Music, for roughly the price of a good steak, but the CD will last you much longer (mercifully).

I can’t tell anyone what music to listen to. But I can tell you that you won’t be sorry you gave this one a listen. Or two. While there’s a lot of old-school sound to it, grittiness even, it’s fresh and remarkably upbeat considering that at times the lyrics turn towards less-than-light topics. It’s real. I daresay I like it. Which probably means I’ll have to consider listening to other Afrikaans music (besides Valiant Swart, who wrote one of the songs on this CD), to catch up. Gladly. Suggestions welcomed.

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