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Young South Africa: Aperture by glowLDB



Mohato Lekena, Ross Dorkin and Robin Brink, known collectively as glowLDB, are three young South Africans blazing a trail in the documentation of the local, electronic music scene. Back in April we featured some of the work they’ve produced both collaboratively and individually. It was around this time that their new project, Aperture, was just kicking off. The video podcast project aims to spotlight some of Cape Town’s finest underground DJs and producers and introduce us to new names in the industry.


This is how they explain the initiative:


We’re out to create memorable portraits of underground Cape Town artists. We host parties at which these artists play sets of their own and other material. These performances are filmed and we record in-depth and entertaining interviews with the artists.


The project aims to transcend the usual presentation of artists in our age  – rather than throwing just parties, we are creating documents of our unique and evolving scene. At the same time we want our audiences to feel part of this unique experience.


Aperture goes beyond simply broadcasting music, we’re capturing experiences. Our cinematographic style is intended to capture the ‘point of view’ feeling of being immersed in the crowd. We’re going deeper than the music to focus on the creators. 


All having musical backgrounds themselves, we asked Mohato, Ross and Robin to let us know more about Aperture and SA’s emerging music producers for our Young South Africa series.


Why did you first start the Aperture series?


Robin Brink: We realised after watching loads of Boiler Room videos that there was a need to document contemporary South African music.

Ross Dorkin: I think we have a desire to document and promote producers, DJs, artists and musicians around us, and we feel that it’s important to provide a platform for them both locally and internationally. Hopefully this series will be beneficial to all the featured artists, and to the local artistic community as a whole.

Mohato Lekena: Honestly, so I could see some of my favourite Cape Town acts playing headline slots at cool parties. Aperture has also to do, I think, with moving from being passive to active participants in the city. We don’t just want to consume Cape Town, but also to actively add to it.


Who have you featured so far?


Aperture: Damascus, TehSynes, Groove Afrika, Christian Tiger School


How do you choose producers/DJs to invite to the project?


RB: We’re focusing on ‘underground talent’, these guys also happen to be our friends. We’re trying to create a unified local scene.

ML: As well as having talented musicians I think it also helps when the people are talented performers who are interesting to watch. It is a bit of a balancing act in the end, trying to optimise underground appeal, quality, and our own personal tastes.

RD: We choose people and music that resonates with us.


Do you have any plans to expand to Johannesburg or other cities?


RB: We’re really eager to shoot some episodes in Joburg and Durban. We’d like to share with the rest of the world what South African house DJs are doing.

ML: I’m originally from Joburg. My friends there wouldn’t let me NOT have an Aperture that side.

RD: Definitely. I think it’s really important that we expand and include as much of the South African scene as possible. Hopefully we can make this happen soon.


What would you say is unique to the young music-making/producing scene in South Africa?


ML: What’s unique about us is that we, as local producers, are the sum of influences that are wholly specific to South Africa right now. Nowhere else in the world, and at no other time in history could such influences have come together (for example I’ve been a legitimate fan of both Kabelo and Nas), and I think therefore that the same can be said about the music we produce.

RD: I agree with Mo, we’re in an interesting place at an interesting time, where technology and information are bringing together a unique type of music making. I still feel that there isn’t enough of this music being shared, enjoyed and spread online globally, especially with a lot of the local house, which is so undeniably unique to South Africa.


Why should we be excited about it?


RB: When we’re fifty years old we’ll be able to show our kids what South Africa looked like in 2013.

ML: Because it’s exciting. More seriously though we are creating culture, which is never something to be taken lightly.

RD: If all goes to plan, it will help to bring more interest and interaction with musicians and artists from around the world, which is good for everyone, music makers and music lovers alike.


What is your ultimate goal for the series?


RB: To show my kids what South Africa looked like in 2013 and to create a representative index of innovative South African music for the rest of the world.

ML: To show the world that we indeed existed, and lived.

RD: To have documented and promoted our local music scene to a more global audience.


What do you think defines SA youth culture?


RB: Our socio-political milieu has a definite impact on the particular inflection of urban culture which we absorb from the US/UK.

ML: Our pioneering, forward thinking approach to our contemporary culture.

RD: Our peculiar position in the world of popular culture.


Who are your ones to watch?


RB: Azaria Beats, John Wizards, b00n, Applesawc, DJ Spoonz, Albert Axe.

ML: I’d also say DJ Spoonz and and b00n, also Momantss, Albert Axe, RVWR, JayTip.

RD: Zenzanon, Wildebeats


Look out for their fourth and latest video featuring Christian Tiger School on the glowLDB YouTube channel.


The third episode of Aperture featuring a DJ set and interview with Cape Town/Johannesburg DJ duo Groove Afrika:




The second episode of Aperture featuring Cape Town drum and bass DJ/producer TehSynes:




The first episode of Aperture featuring DAMASCUS:




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