I started this blog in March 2013 as a way of showing off my work. Later, I tried to help South Africa by creating a video advice series and a podcast. I learned that that writing actual words to try and heal the South African music industry is the wrong way to do it, and … [Read more…]

Fairytales and fantasy music now on German label DNA Music

After 4 months of creative output while in Brisbane, Nic Paton and I signed some work to a German label. Mainly fantasy-themed material which was spawned as an offshoot of the work we did on The Elfin Trail. Writeup and links below: “Fairytales and Fantasy” is a collaboration between Nic Paton and John Bartmann, for … [Read more…]

Vinyl Rip: Vir Die Kleinspan

Vir die Kleinspan: Stories vir Nuuskieriege Agies is an Afrikaans language childrens’ storytelling album featuring four stories narrated by Verna Vels in the style of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. High quality WAV files can be downloaded below. Side A Download WAV | MP3 1. Hoe Hasie Sy Lang Ore Gekry Het 2. Hoe Vlindertjie … [Read more…]

Of what value is your work to society?

While walking this weekend, I had some time to think about the role of the artist in society. As a South African, I spend an above average amount of time volunteering for causes and contributing to efforts where artists have no access to resources, knowledge or encouragement to pursue their work effectively. This leads to loss of … [Read more…]

#98 – “Broke as Hell” blues jam (Moholo Live House, Khayelitsha)

Impromptu jam by some talented guys here in Harare, Khayelitsha. The aim in my work with all these young guys and girls is to foster their talent and help them translate it into the Three E’s: Exposure, Earning and Enjoyment. The challenge lies in education. Many artists still naively believe that talent rises to the … [Read more…]

Bare Traps: Free Trap Loops Sample Pack

It’s a trap! Bear Traps is a sample pack of electronic music loops. The loops are created with the trap genre in mind and may be used in conjunction with other instrumental trap patterns. All samples are royalty-free and license free, allowing you to share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, … [Read more…]

The Myth of International Fame

Last night I began watching the Australian mini-series about the band INXS. It’s a well-executed account of the band’s rise to international fame from a provincial backwater. Same story as many other rockumentaries. Same story that so many South African musicians are still internalizing and naively attempting to reproduce in the context of our highly … [Read more…]

Fresh Start

I’ve begun rehearsals with a few new artists for a pair of events happening in a few weeks in Observatory and Khayelitsha. I feel ambivalent about the whole project, knowing from the first rehearsal that I have the most musical experience in the room, and that I might have to deal with some rookie errors … [Read more…]