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Video: South Africa's 'Silent Gig' Band


It goes without saying that the sound and experience of music is continually evolving and being enhanced thanks to technological advances. Enter TONIK, a South African band that explores concepts of innovative musical experiences through live performance. Comprised of musical savants Jann Krynauw and Ronan Skillen, TONIK specializes in “silent gigs in unconventional spaces.”

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The concept of a “silent gig” is mildly foreign, but gorgeously simple. Each member of the audience is equipped with a pair of state of the art AKG wireless headphones that allows them to tailor the sound to their own taste using personal volume control. A practically interactive but personal environment is what results, incredibly different from the same vibe thought to be created when an artist plays acoustic to an audience in an intimate space. A variety of musical instruments including the piano, accordion, the Australian didgeridoo and various percussions are played between Jann and Ronan, providing the foundation of the individual inception of a beautiful melody by each audience member.

TONIK has collaborated with many local and international artists including Freshlyground, Johnny Clegg, and Cherif Sisokho from Senegal. They also have a South African Music Award for Best Instrumental Album 2008 under their belts from a collaboration with Guy Collins. TONIK has also showcased repeatedly at the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland (2011 and 2012), and are geared for the Moving Poets in Berlin in August 2012.

 

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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