Sylvan Aztok is an exciting addition to SA’s electronic music scene with the majority of his sounds coming from self-recorded clips. His debut album just launched on okayafrica who describe his music as “a fauvist’s fantasia of smelted forms, decomposed elements of jazz, African and Eastern folk, trip-hop and sound design”. A multi-instrumentalist who loves making beats (always tapping his fingers to a rhythm), he describes himself as a “Cape Town based, vuddu rave, drift fabric, electronic music producer who has devoted his heart and mind to the dreamality”. To accompany his musical debut, Bryan Little, filmmaker and director from Fly on the Wall, has crafted a music video / short film for Sylvan’s track ‘Martian Jungle 7’.
With it’s low-res and collaged finish, it’s a perfect fit for Sylvan Aztok’s (aka Simon Kohler’s) granular and layered music, and for Bryan it’s an inspired step outside of his comfort zone. People are moving, dancing, and the music moves, instructing and charging each scene. The video morphs Africa with Europe, with religion, sacrifice and celebration. And each sourced clip has a story, but together they tell a tale of human life – a life of exploration and expression.
The video, entitled ‘Liggaam / lughawe’ (body / airport), is an evocative portrayal of limbs in motion. Bryan explains that it’s “a preparatory sketch exploring our ancient and intrinsic compulsion towards finding god…Since time began, all over the world, men and woman reach out earnest and open fingertips towards the unknown. Our bodies are conduits through which hope, desire and fear are channelled and expressed.” Ending with a quote from Temple Grandin, “Where do they go? One minute they are here and then they are just meat.”
Sylvan Aztok’s ‘S Z’ album cover by Swain Hoogervorst.