Lindiwe Maxolo-Album Review

Authentic, elegant, compassionate, exuberant and soulfully jazzy, these are some of the words to describe Lindiwe Maxolo’s debut album simply titled “Time”.

lindiwe 1The album title, I believe was inspired by her journey and experience in the music industry as a seasoned performer who must have now felt it was time to find her voice and tell the world what she’s all about through her own album. The opening song on the album, “Let It Rain” warms you up to the rest of the album, while the second song “Thuthuzeka” drives one into a beautiful trance with its deeply rooted instrumentals that will take you back to your roots. One of the most appealing aspects about this album is that Lindiwe plays around with different styles of music, there’s a bit of bossa nova, blues, and neo soul. She was able to fuse all of this while at the same time keeping it proudly African.

Original material is interesting with mostly impressionistic lyrics. The production on the album is splendid, with a heavyweight producer Nduduzo Makhathini on the keys. If you enjoy the likes of Sibongile Khumalo, Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa Mazwai, then you will enjoy this album. I usually review the latest pop releases, but I couldn’t resist to share this one. If you’re not a fan of this kind of music, then this is one album that could possibly open up new areas of musical interests for you. All in all, I’ve enjoyed this album, I give it a stamp of approval, a must have, “P.Mash” certified!



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Skwatta Kamp – Mkhukhu Funkshen,10th Anniversary


There’s a tendency here in South Africa of not celebrating our music, but I don’t blame it much on us the consumers, I blame it on the record companies. I was looking at Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, the album was released in 1982, after that the album has been reissued/re-released several times into different editions, containing remastered songs, alternate versions of the songs, previously unreleased songs. The album is celebrated, it’s heritage to the Americans. So this got me thinking, why there isn’t something like that here in Mzansi? There are so many local albums that I consider classics and I would love to see them being remastered and reissued. I had most of these albums on cassettes but they are nowhere to be found on CDs! Especially the 90’s kwaito, and mid-tempo house era.

So this year I want to celebrate an album that I think it’s significant, ‎”Mkhukhu Funkshen” by Skwatta Kamp. The album was released in 2003 in the era that local Hip Hop was on the rise. For me ‎”Mkhukhu Funkshen” was one of the first local Hip Hop albums to do well commercially. The first single “Umoya” was such a smash hit, everybody loved it – even my O’lady loved it. “Umoya” was one of those songs that hit you instantly weather you’re into Hip Hop or not. The album was well made, well produced and I just couldn’t skip a track! I remember Lira sang the chorus for “Eskhaleni” and honestly back then I never thought she would be this far (Not in a bad way though). Listening to “Eskhaleni” now just made me realise how far she has come. ‎When ”Mkhukhu Funkshen” came out, everybody wanted to be a rapper, even I wanted to be a rapper. The album became a land mark for Mzansi Hip Hop from 2003 to now, it kind of opened doors for other Hip Hop cats because they wanted to compete with Skwatta Kamp. A lot of underground Hip Hop cats came out on the surface, cats like H20, Zulu Mobb, Cashless Society and others. I am not that clued up about Hip Hop but I think Skwatta Kamp made people appreciate local Hip Hop more, after ‎”Mkhukhu Funkshen” people began to appreciate movements like Motswako. Unfortunately I had this album on cassette when it came out, now I can’t seem to find it anywhere and I know if there are people who still have it on CD, chances are it might be super scratched.

It’s been a decade since the release of this great classic album and I know Skwatta Kamp released several albums before ‎”Mkhukhu Funkshen” and after. Bozza, Flabba, Shuga Smaks, Nemza and Slikour have done some solo albums, but I wonder what happened to Infa and Nish? So this year I commemorate this album and I wish it could be reissued as a 10th anniversary deluxe edition, and if there was a way, it would be gold plated. Big Up, I Salute Ma’gents.

By Peter “P.Mash” Mashabane

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Review – Gemini

Hlubi The Twiin-Gemini

A friend showed me a tweet of someone saying that “R&B is not for South Africans and it’s not our thing unless you’re Kabomo.” My friend retweeted and said “What a load of crap! Has this person ever heard of RJ Benjamin, S.Davis, Brian Temba, Nothende, and What about Afrotraction? I love Kabomo’s work but he’s certainly NOT the only artist who’s making some good R&B/Neo-Soul, this person might have been living under a rock or something.”

The R&B scene in Mzansi is getting better and even more interesting, with new artists coming through. Amongst the Newbies in this circle is Hlubi – The Twiin, with his debut album titled “Gemini”. Hlubi-The Twiin, Born Hlubi Kwebulana independently released his album. He describes it as  a rare R&B album sung in isiXhosa, drawing influences from the likes of Boyz II Men, Ringo Madlingozi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo just to name a few.  What I love the most about independent artists is that their talent is raw, and this allows them to let their creative juices flow. I love the passion in this album; I felt it from the first track, to the very last track. The album comprises of 13 tracks, including 4 interludes and a hidden track. “Gemini” took 5 years in the making, all songs are composed, written arranged and produced by Hlubi, with a couple of tracks co-produced and co-arranged by guitarist, Denver L. Damons.

Hlubi Twinn.docx-pic

The album touches on themes like love, Faith and his life experiences. My favourite song is “Andilelanga’’ as well as the current single on the airwaves “Ngokabani Ke Lo”. The beauty about this album is that Hlubi has managed to create his own soulful sound through lines of harmonies in vernacular.

Connect to him on Twitter: @hlubi2win and on Facebook: “Hlubi Twiin”

By Peter “P.Mash” Mashabane


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It’s a wrap!

Ok, it’s a wrap
It’s amazing how good our music has become over the years, Some of the pleasures of working in a music store, (apart from the fact that I love music) is that I get to see the trends in what’s selling, and who exactly buys what’s selling, I can from there mentally conclude my own stats. Foreign music still rules in sales, however, it’s good to see that people are buying more local music, not merely for the sake of supporting artists but for the love of good music.There have been some interesting releases this year, I wish I could talk about them all, but for the sake of time and space, I’ll highlight just a few, which I think have the potential to be SAMA winners in 2013.

Kabomo – All Things Grey

This album has set a new landmark for neo soul music in Mzansi since the release of RJ Benjamin’s “Who am I”. The first single “Busiswe” got some heavy airplay, people welcomed the unique sound of neo soul, and embraced it with open arms. When the album came out, Kabomo was testing the market by printing out a few copies, to his surprise when those few copies hit the stores, they got sold out within a few weeks. Most stores were out of stock until Kabomo got a new distribution deal and the album became widely available. Great production, great song writing – if this album doesn’t win a SAMA award, I’ll boycott the award ceremony! Struu!


The Muffinz – Have You Heard?

Still on that neo soul tip, by the way, I keep using the term “neo soul” if you’re wondering what it is, it means “new soul”. Neo soul is an alternative genre of soul that originated in America by artists such as Maxwell. It fuses elements of Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and sometimes the spoken word. What I love about The Muffinz is the fact that they are so unique it’s actually hard to classify them. I love the musicianship that they possess, they play real instruments and it’s a pleasure to watch them live. What I love about this album is that it’s neo soul delivered in an African style.

The Soil

I sometimes feel that they are a bit overrated, which is a good thing because it simply means the support they have is massive. I’m a jazz lover, I can’t stand acapella. However, I can’t mention great albums without including “The Soil”. This trio has brought a fresh, organic sound. They deliver love songs like never before. The song “Inkomo” got some heavy air play, so much so that I ended up liking it. Lovely album.


Tokollo – Heist

I often hear people saying kwaito is dead, blah blah blah! The Durban guys have reinvented Kwaito, and took it to a whole new level, although it will never be the same as the 90’s, it’s cool, music evolves all the time. Tokollo, aka Magesh came to the rescue with his latest album titled “Heist”. This album just took me back to when Kwaito used to be big. The first single from this album “Sgidi” proves that even if kwaito has changed, some artists like Magesh have managed to stay true to the original kwaito sound we all know. Magesh, I salute baba!!


Ralf  Gum – Never Leaves You

House music is the fastest growing genre in Mzansi, there have been a lot of releases that were great, there have been quite a few favourites, but if I had to pick all of them I’ll fill up the KT page! These include the likes of Da Vinci, Lulo Café, Pepsi, and of course the December releases that are in the fight for the song that will get us into the new year on the 31st of December 2012, these include the likes of Professor, Mahoota, L’Vovo, Fistaz Mixwell, Oskido and Black Coffee, who made history for the release of his DVD “Africa Rising “ . I feel as if his album will only peak next year, there isn’t too much noise about it yet… I’m a sucker for deep house, with vocals and Ralf Gum delivered this album brilliantly, the song “Take Me to My Love” has been on repeat on my stereo, with a nostalgic velvet voice of Monique Bingham that took me back to the days of the song “(We Had ) A Thing” she did with Abstract Truth. I could go on and on about this album, it’s a great album, my favourite house album to come out this year.
So what’s your favourite album to come out in 2012?
By Peter “P.Mash” Mashabane

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Music Review: Going Back to the Roots with Mbuso Khoza

Artist               :  Mbuso Khoza

Album             :  Zilindile

Over the years, Mbuso Khoza has made a name for himself as a backup vocalist for artists such as Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphokozi, and Themba Mkhize. He’s recently featured on a song by Revolution called ‘Angisoze Ngakulibala’ taken off their latest album. He has finally made his long desired career breakthrough by releasing his debut album titled ‘Zilindile.’

The album has been beautifully executed, with an outstanding production which features the likes of Themba Mkhize and Lucas Senyatso, amongst others. The album has been under the guidance of a young producer and pianist, Nduduzo Makhathini, who has also worked with the late Zim Ngqwana, Simphiwe Dana, Feya Faku, and Zamajobe. The album has some contemporary jazz influences with an urban sound, accompanied by true lyrical integrity. On the album, Mbuso takes the listeners through the journey of his life; this is evident on songs like Eshowe and Nabaya, with meaningful lyrical content that many can relate to.

What I love most about this album is that it is authentic and does not try to emulate American music; it truly reflects South African culture, and all songs are in isiZulu. It’s a shame that a lot of people don’t embrace this kind of music anymore. This album is well-crafted, so rich and spiritual and has reminded me that I’m unashamedly African. Chances are, you might not like it the first time, but as you give it time and listen to it over and over again, it will make sense. It’s worth adding to your collection.

Rating: 5/5

- By P.Mash

To stay up to date with where his CD can be purchased, and to get more about him and his music, you can visit:


Twitter    :  @MbusoKhozaSA

YouTube: “Mbuso Khoza”

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Afro’traction – Making SeSwati Fashionable

I love R&B/Neo Soul and I’ve always fantasised about hearing it in different languages, but it never crossed my mind that I’d one day hear it sung purely in SeSwati. Afro’traction broke into the scene and delivered just that! Afro’traction, often mistaken as group, is actually a solo act by Wandile Moya. This talented musician is a great vocalist with the ability of playing various instruments. He has two solid albums under his belt. His latest album, Soulfully Yours, has been nominated for the SAMAS under the category Best Smooth Urban Album of the Year. Kasi Times caught up with Afro’traction, the singer, songwriter and producer at his studio to tell us more about his music.

Born and raised in a musical family in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, Wandile’s father taught him how to play a piano at the early age of 9. He quickly caught the music bug and started performing at his local church and at weddings. His major breakthrough was in 2007, when he worked for a record company as a producer, with artists like HHP, Teargas, Kabelo, Denim, Jamali and Thembi Seete.

When asked about how he came up with the name Afro’traction, he explained it as: ‘’Afro’’ which means something of an African origin, “traction’’ which means an act of hauling – so it’s African music that holds on to your heart. He came up with this name to distinguish himself from being an artist and a producer on the album, and because of the kind of sound he produces.

He describes Afro’traction’s sound as Mzansi Soul, where he incorporates different languages like isiZulu, isiXhosa and SeSwati to create a blend of soulful R&B with the lyrical content that revolves around relationships; this is evident on songs like ‘Ngawe’ and ‘Ngimtholile.’ The lyrical content is delivered in a manner that can easily be understood and people can relate to it in their own languages. People can expect “nothing but love on his latest album.”

Connect to him on Twitter: @afrotraction

- P.Mash


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Don’t Be an Employee your Whole Life

How many of us are dependent on a salary as the only source of income every month? We tend to love the finer things in life. As a result, we work hard; go through tertiary education so we can get that fancy high paying job to support our love for finer things. But, have you ever wondered what will happen if you lose your job? What will be next? Are you going to survive without the income? Will you hop to another job? And for how long are you going to do this?

If you have read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad or The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. The author stresses on the importance of having money to work for you, and not having to work for money. Ironically, I’m a recent graduate and I’m job-hunting. I’ve had a lot of odd retail jobs since I matriculated four years ago. I’ve learnt the basic job dynamics and have come to the realisation that a job alone isn’t enough to sustain the type of life I want to live. I don’t like the idea of having to wait for the 25th to get paid. I hate the system!

We are not born entrepreneurs. You can make a success of your career, but think of ways that you can make an extra income on the side. Most people have little knowledge about investing in stock markets and bonds. We have stokvels – yes, great idea, but they are not enough.

For example, there’s franchising. Again, most people have little knowledge of these types of businesses. There are organisations such as the Franchising Association of South Africa (FASA), which provide resources on franchises and can advise you about procedure.

I suppose it all comes down to risk. Most of us are too comfortable with the idea of a guaranteed income at the end of the month. But if we start thinking ‘business’ and take calculated risks, then we may just find ourselves on our way to financial freedom. Question is, are you willing to work for the rest of your life, waiting for the 25th of every month to get paid? So what is it gonna be?

–  P.Mash

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Entrepreneur Diaries: Tshego Chanda Brown – The Lady Behind Sebilo Creations

Tshego Chanda BrownIt is difficult to run a business in a country where home-brewed products and services are not supported and embraced as they should be. But, this didn’t stop the Mafikeng-born Tshego Chanda from starting her own furniture business. She is the mastermind behind Sebilo Creations, a business which offers an array of services including architecture, interior design, contemporary furniture design and furniture manufacturing.

Where It All Began

As a teenager I was quite creative with everything I touched. Friends thought I would pursue a career in the fashion industry, but interior design chose me. At the tender age of 13, I designed floor drawing layouts for my mother’s house – the house was built from the drawings. I was present at every construction stage though I didn’t know anything about building materials apart from brick, cement, sand and stone aggregate.

I also used to play around with furniture layout in the house; I felt the urge to re-arrange my mother’s furniture at any given time because it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, and that usually got me into trouble. I was finally introduced to architecture and interior design in Grade 12.

Taking a Step Further

After I matriculated I enrolled for studies in Architecture at the former Technikon Pretoria. Five months into the course I was employed by an architectural firm in Pretoria. My love for furniture and interior design magnified when I was designing houses. The passion I have for this industry inspired my career choice, and this led me to start my own company.

Business Background

Sebilo Creations is a young company which aims to apply an African feel to its products. I registered the business in 2008 and operations started in 2009. The name was inspired by a Setswana idiom “bana ba mmala o sebilo” directly translated “children of the soil (of a darker skin).” African people are known to be hard, strong and warm – these characteristics are translated into Sebilo Creations team and work ethic.


Finance was the greatest challenge in getting the business off ground. I had no funding back up. I had to fund the business from my own pocket. It would have been great if I had had a mentor to guide me through this journey and advising on crucial elements of the business. I relied on the internet for information. I also asked friends and family for advice and I read self-help books.

Another major challenge is Read the full story

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Music Review by PMash: Eltonnick’s Time

Soul Candi artist

Artist: Eltonnick

Album: Time

It’s sad to see how there isn’t too much noise around this kid. I like how he describes the album as “touching, mouthful and emotional” – and the album delivers just that. Eltonnick’s Time has some tribal House elements in most of its songs but it’s hard to box it into a certain sound. It features a lot of vocals delivered by some of Mzansi’s finest House vocalists like Zano, Trevor Mako, Kafele and Zaki Ibrahim. The lyrical content revolves around relationship and life issues; this is evident on songs like Secrets, and Love Has Taken Over. It’s a much laid back album, something to chill and unwind with. The production is on point, and the album art sleeve makes it almost irresistible not pick it up!

Ratings: 4 out 5

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Music Review by PMash: The Hot.99 Dance mixed by Just Mo

Music Review by PMash: The Hot.99 Dance Mixed By Just Mo

Album: The Hot.99 Dance Mixed By Just Mo.

Artist: Various Artists

With just a month into the New Year, the music scene is still quiet. There’s barely anything new on the shelves… but I came across The Hot.99 Dance mixed by Just Mo. At first I thought it was just another House compilation, but then again it grew on me. The compilation features the likes of At Jazz, Nasty Nev, and Donae O. The compilation opens with a very jazzy “Quietstorm (Darque’s Afrodrum Mix)” by Andy Compton. If you’re a tribal house fan, look out for some afro beat infused song ‘’Hung Up (Infinite Boys Remix)” by Nasty Nev.  All in all, depending on what you’re looking for in a compilation, it’s not a “Wow” compilation, but it is nicely mixed.

Ratings: 3 out 5

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Meet Zethu Mashika – A Star Behind the Stars

It is very refreshing to hear of someone from ekasi specialising in something different to the norm – like specialising in film scores. Okay, just so we’re on the same page, a film score is the background music composed for different scenes of a film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the impact of a certain scene. Zethu Mashika is one of those special, rare and interesting cases.


WAKA StarsBorn in Benoni in the East Rand, the humble 27 year old Zethu is a music composer specialising in film scores, commercial music, title sequences and adverts. He has been part of the music industry for 8 years and continues to make an impact in the industry. He is one of South Africa’s youngest and first black composers to single-handedly score a feature film. He has written scores mostly for television and documentaries. His work includes the title sequence music for SABC 1’s Mzanzi Insider, Zwahashu, and Channel O’s Mcee Africa season one. He has composed scores for films such as Sky and Minutes to Nine, and has recently completed scoring for the forthcoming local feature film, Zama Zama. He has produced and composed for various artists such as H2O, Flabba, Zulu Mob, and Psyfo. In 2009, he produced and composed SABC 2’s election song performed by RJ Benjamin and Bongo Riot.

Music vs Expectations

It’s hard to believe that his talent is raw and untrained. His parents didn’t like the idea of him doing music. As a result, he was forced to make a quick decision to study something “solid.” After he matriculated, Zethu enrolled for an electro-mechanical engineering course at TUT. While at university, he struggled to shake off the music bug and this saw him eventually drop out during his first year to pursue his passion.

The Beginning

A friend hooked him up with artists like Flabba, H2O and Zulu Mob, for which he produced beats. His influence within the Hip Hop community was quickly recognized, but his focus was to get into the film industry. His career as producer within the music industry didn’t take off as he had wished – but he was glad it didn’t, because he believes it could’ve been harder to get into the film industry as a Hip Hop producer. He had always wanted to do film, but he thought it was almost impossible as the film industry was quite small at the time.


The first film he scored for was a short film from AFDA. This strengthened his profile and he used Read the full story

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Why I Don’t Support South African Music

Music Contributor

I’m a big music collector and I’m ashamed that 90% of my collection is made up of American fusion jazz, R&B, Soul, Neo Soul and House music. South African artists complain that we don’t support their music, but what they don’t realise is that there are a number of issues that disable or limit us from doing so. One of these is the issue of distribution. It’s hard to find South African CDs on the shelves of major, well-recognised CD retailers.

For a while I’ve been struggling to find a CD by 340ml, but I’m certain that if I were to look for a Rihanna CD, I would find it within a few hours! I work for a music store. Customers look for local releases but most of them leave the shop dissatisfied, with some considering the illegal downloading/piracy route.

Another issue is that of music choice. What happens to someone who likes R&B in a country where most of the music played on radio is House, Kwaito, Afro-Pop, or Hip Hop? Does this mean that the person needs to switch to those genres for the sake of supporting proudly South Africa music? I have a keen ear for local music that’s fresh; as long as it is good, it’s worth buying. Unfortunately there are few artists in our country who deliver that. Most of them are independent artists but it’s difficult to access their music. As a music lover and a critical listener, I don’t really care much about an artist’s independent label issues. All I want is access to good music.

Some record companies in our country are trying to address these issues. For example, look at what TS Records did for Zahara, a talented musician with something unique and fresh to offer, well-marketed and DISTRIBUTED. Why don’t other record companies do the same with their artists?

Please do share your thoughts and views on this topic?





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Music Review: Mi Casa’s Music

Fresh and crisp – that’s the kind of sound that I always look out for when I write my reviews and I’ve got to admit that Mi Casa gave me exactly that, and more than I expected! It’s always refreshing to review a CD that brings something unique to the mix. Mi Casa is Mzansi’s new live House band, with Dr. Duda on the beats, J’Something on vocals and Mo-T on the trumpet. What intrigues me about Mi Casa is how each band member creatively brings in his own distinctive sound to create a soulful blend, with an  element of live music, especially the trumpet.

My highlight on the album La Vida showcases Mo-T adding his personal touch of jazz with his trumpet, while J’Something adds some soulful elemnts with some soulful vocals, engraved with engaging lyrics that touch on issues like love and religion. His vocal abilities amazes me; I love the way he coverd Sade Adu’s hit Smooth Operator. Dr. Duda adds some House flavour  with his production skills, with beats that create an interesting and listenable blend of deep jazzy, yet dancable beats. This is evident in a song like Heavenly Sent. The album has been well-received, with their banging hit These Streets which is blazing on almost all radio stations. This is definately a must have album, and be warned… it will grow on you!

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Music Review: Electro Candi 3

soul candi

The Soul Candi Crew brings us yet another long-anticipated compilation, The Electro Candi 3 mixed by Blackwhole, Game and Dean Fuel. As with its predecessor, the 3 disc pack has something in store for everyone, from chilled out House beats to some electrifying House tunes. Disc 1, mixed by Blackwhole takes us through some easy-on-the-ear deep-rooted tunes, featuring songs like Don’t Stop, On The Beach (The Realm Dub) by Leon Ware, and my favorite Life Is So Strange (Deetron Remix) by Akabu. Disc 2, mixed by Game, brings us some banging House tunes that have been sweeping our dance floors, songs like I Wanna Love You (The Layabouts Future Retro Vocal Mix) by Lulo Cafe featuring Nothende, What You Do 2 Me (Original Mix) by Crazy White Boy. Disc 3, mixed by Dean Fuel, Fuels up the tempo with some electrifying club tunes, with songs like Koko by Sander Van Doorn, Pressure (Alesso Remix) by Nadia Ali, Starkillers and Alex Kenji. With the festive season around the corner, Electro Candi 3 will be a great starter to your summer music collection; you are bound to get something for your listening pleasure.

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