Die Antwoord | Ten$ion
How on earth did ‘out there’ music ever get ‘in there’ before the advent of the interweb and MyFace or Twit-tube? I shudder to think of all the true original weirdos/geniuses (depends on where you stand) who have created groundbreaking music that never got heard en mass, and are now stuck back working behind the tills of the nearest Woolies dreaming up ways in which to brutally murder their boss.
Fortunately for South African rap-rave mentalists Die Antwoord (and any supermarket managers in Cape Town), the digital age has well and truly cometh, and thanks to the viral phenomenon are now one of the top YouTube hits with their collection of unsettling videos and schizophrenic zef music (think blue eyeliner, bleached hair, sweat bands, cars with overly powerful sound systems… you know, the usual stuff).
Essentially a duo comprising of Ninja (grimy bloke with missing/gold teeth) and Yo-Landi (female albino mental institution escapee?), it’s safe to say that Die Antwoord won’t appeal to everyone, but underneath the confrontational veneer there are moments of maturity that show there’s more to these two than meets the eye.
After 60 seconds of what sounds like a Paul Simon B-side circa Graceland, album opener “Never Le Nkemise” wallops you round the head with a dose of rap dubstep that pretty much sets the tone for what’s to come.
“I Fink U Freeky” then goes into overdrive, with Ninja and Yo-Landi trading off Afrikaans tinted rhyming flows that sound like a staple gun being fired into your ears. Other standout track “Fatty Boom Boom” lays down a rowdy Zulu drumbeat with even more implausibly hyperactive, high-pitched vocals dancing around over the top.
I could go on and attempt to explain the other tracks but you probably get the picture by now (the album cover image of Yo-Landi eating a human heart is also a pretty good indicator). So do yourself a favour and load up a Die Antwoord vid on YouTube. Like it or loathe it we should all be thankful to the Internet gods for original geniuses/weirdos like this.