The Mushroom Hour Half Hour, an Experimental Music Imprint from Johannesburg, South Africa, curating music from different traditions, generations and historical experiences, releases an exciting new website today.
The mixed media artists of the Mushroom Hour Half Hour work together to generate “once-off, genre-bending collaborations”. The collective – who featured as participating artists with JHB Massive during the 2015 CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival – will be releasing music projects in instalments on their website throughout the year. They kick off with ITHUBA LOKU HLOLA, a radically improvised jam session featuring João Orecchia (Motèl Mari), Molefi Makananise (BLK JKS), Mpumelelo Mcata (BLK JKS/ Motèl Mari), Tshepang Ramoba (BLK JKS / Motèl Mari), Nosisi Ngakane (Kwani Experience) & Ngoma Makhosi (Basemental Platform/The Pharaoh Express). This set is part of the website’s LAB SESSIONS which chronicles the group’s journeys in locally situated curated jam sessions and live recordings (Chale! we are still talking about that joint they did with Gyedu-Blay Ambolley and Pat Thomas in James Town).
The ITHUBA LOKU HLOLA session is accompanied by cover art, liner notes, videos and photographs. It will also be available for purchase or streaming on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play and other choice digital platforms.
Following this is Makhafula Mushrooms, a space featuring rappers, poets, vocalists and writers who perform live over vinyl-based soundscapes. Makhafula Mushrooms includes poet Makhafula Vilakazi, backed by singer Nosisi Ngakane and rapper/singer Ngoma Makhosi. The collective performs live over a cinematic soundtrack mashing up European classical music with Black classical music.
Makhafula Mushrooms is, in some sense, a self-portrait of the artist. The location(Spruitview), the live recording, and the presence of an audience, is, to some degree, a returning of the gaze that forces a heightened air of responsibility on both the artist and audience. It increases the tension between the performed and written aspects of his craft. There is a sense that all of history depends on this, while at the same time this recording could only be a curated snapshot of a moment.
(from the liner notes for Makhafula Mushrooms)
40 Years…June 16 is the third instalment of the website located in the MIXELLANEOUS section of the website featuring “a mixed assortment of instalments ranging from collaborative projects, art gallery residencies, pop up radio segments and commissioned work. 40 Years…June 16 is an improvised auditory experiment blending Black classical music with audio archive material of interviews with people who witnessed the 1976 Soweto Student Uprising 1976. The project pieces together a narrative of events unfolding that day.”
The final instalment is titled New Power New Power and it belongs to the section of the website called CHOICE PICKINGS, where friends are invited to rummage through their personal music collections to unearth and share their most selective pickings. The hope is to spin a worldwide flavour of music that is rare, old, new, funky but always soulful. New Power New Power is an all-vinyl music mix by Girl Blue.
…if you have spent time in the inner city of Johannesburg, hanging out with the poets and the artists and the musicians ….. the people described on Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s ‘Theme for the Eulipions‘ ……….. you may know her too.
Head over to Mushroom Hour Half Hour’s new website for more action.