Film

Video: Sean Metelerkamp 'Pantsula vs Puppets' x Studio Africa

South African video director Sean Metelerkamp teams up with Diesel and Edun to shoot 'Pantsula vs Puppets' for Studio Africa

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Director Sean Metelerkamp has teamed up with Diesel + Edun to create a short film for the labels’ collaboration Studio Africa. Famous for his work for Die Antwoord, Metelerkamp’s "Pantsula vs Puppets" draws on pantsula culture, with dancers from Real Actions crew taking centre stage. Established in 1992, Real Actions channel the talent and creative energies of Joburg youth through dance. Here the crew displays all the precision and flair of pantsula dance head to head with puppets. Shot in Soweto, the video is set to The Very Best Moroka‘s track ‘Ndekha’. 

This is Metelerkamp’s first collaboration with a clothing brand, and he says that while he allowed the clothes to shape the look of the video, he also aimed to harness the creative spirit of the area, remain true to his own artistic vision and share both with the rest of the world: ‘it was actually something new to me that I ended up really enjoying’.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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