SOUTH AFRICA, WHAT'S UP?
X14 / Rose Bonica
Carte blanche is given to South African collective CUSS, diggers of talent who unearth nuggets from the ultra-underground contemporary electro-hip-hop scene of South Africa! This, their 5th collaboration – why change a winning team? – will once again have the walls shaking. CUSS has invited electronic artist, producer and visual artist Rose Bonica. From her studio in Hout Bay, surrounded by beaches and bathed in sunshine, she creates music that is as mysterious as it is introspective. We’ve added Mohale Motlali, aka X14, to complete this electrifying line-up of raw, powerful and engaging sounds. CUSS never cease to amaze!
From 9 p.m.
One of our favourite mantras at Wet Dreams Recordings is "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first”. This sentiment is the raw definition of X14 (pronounced Z-I-A) and his journey through life and music. X14 is a highly functional, unhinged young man with a burning desire to build and destroy. At the same time he is a stray dog tucked away in a corner of a building in downtown Johannesburg, trying to avoid the rain, get something to eat and find a home.
There’s a bit of X14 in all of us.
X14, real name Mohale Motlali or just Mo to his friends, possesses a consistent and intense silent disposition, and it always hits you by surprise how raw, loud and engaging his sound can be. He is a rare musical gem from the Johannesburg scene that will undoubtedly be one of the most important voices to come out of South Africa in recent years. 2020 was highly momentous with X14 being played on Das Kapital’s In Das We Trust show on 5FM, featured on Machine Woman’s Resident Advisor chart for March 2020 at #3 on Machine Woman’s Rinse FM show.
“I want to burn it all to the ground and cook something beautiful on the fire” - X14
Gifted with the ability to work with various musical genres, X14 finds his place in the left field dance genre. With influences from the likes of Johann Johansson, DJ Cleo, Timbaland and Miles Davis, and a touch of his Sotho/Xhosa heritage, X14’s sound is locally unique and globally deviant in nature. It can be a bit difficult to digest for the uninitiated, but it’s like drinking beer, tastes weird the first few times then all of the sudden it colonises your taste buds and soul.
Rose Bonica is a live electronic act, music producer and visual artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Bonica’s production style is complex, self-taught and unpredictable. The layering of her sounds can feel like anything from astral projection, a warm sunny picnic with friends on the side of a lake to a hard core torture technique. Unexpected sounds illustrate the authenticity of Bonica’s private production process that happens in her studio overlooking the ocean in the small coastal town of Hout Bay in South Africa where she has lived her whole life. Her work is a reflection of her perspective on everything from love and pain to the joys of domestic cats or the experience of navigating a world in crisis.
Bonica recently released her debut album Tears for the Tea Maker on her own label Roses Are Red. It received support from artists and DJs like Machine Woman, Jamz Supernova and Dixon. Her album was also featured on Bandcamp’s Best Electronic Albums of 2020 and Mail & Guardians Best Albums of 2020 lists.
She has her first international release coming out in January 2021 on Jamz Supernova’s label Future Bounce and recently performed live for Nyege Nyege’s online festival.