THE HOUSE OF SUN-EL: Sun-El Musician, Simmy, Mlindo The Vocalist, and other related artists

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fun fact: Simmy calls herself (or at least her albums) “Tugela Fairy” because she’s from Tugela Ferry in KwaZulu Natal province, a town named after the ferry across the Tugela River that operated here and has since been replaced by the steel bridge you see in the video.

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 23 October 2020 20:57 (eleven months ago) link

Wow that's the heart of Zululand, it's not far off Isandlwana, and I checked, the area is King's land (Ingonyama). She's basically in the homelands stepping on the skulls of dead British soldiers :D

Nabozo, Saturday, 24 October 2020 16:26 (eleven months ago) link

lol the Sun-el album is 159 mins long

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Saturday, 24 October 2020 17:27 (eleven months ago) link

he is probably the only person right now whose 159-minute-long album i would actually anticipate listening to

dyl, Saturday, 24 October 2020 18:44 (eleven months ago) link

...and another one (found out through forks' October favourites list):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K09EbOCfoGU
Sun-EL Musician ft. Julia Church • Garden

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 16:59 (ten months ago) link

in songs I like better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWKoDuyuzVs
Mthandazo Gatya ft. DJ Manzo SA & Comado • Senzeni

(reminder: the non-edited version is 6'24)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 21:18 (ten months ago) link

This folky one is very pretty:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tu2Wsd3AjE
Sbahle • Emlanjeni

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 21:19 (ten months ago) link

brand new video for a track from last year's S-Tone *EP* (as opposed to this year's S-Tone *album*):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYw9dfVd_oc
S-Tone ft. Simmy • Vuka Africa

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 13:29 (ten months ago) link

Sha Sha’s voice is so soothing to me on this awful day

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 4 November 2020 18:25 (ten months ago) link

"senzeni" is really good

fully expecting the sun-el album to be too much, 31 tracks/2.5 hours is totally ridiculous

ufo, Thursday, 5 November 2020 07:08 (ten months ago) link

in case you don’t have no plans for tomorrow night:

@simmymusicsa launches her album tomorrow!!, 🌟💛 at Pmb.. Alongside @azanamusic and myself
!!
Tugela Fairy ( Made of Stars) has Arrived!! pic.twitter.com/4r1ATmOMXA

— NobuhleMusic (@NobuhleMusic) November 5, 2020

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Thursday, 5 November 2020 22:01 (ten months ago) link

ooh it's out here now and sounding great

ufo, Friday, 6 November 2020 01:35 (ten months ago) link

"konke"!

ufo, Friday, 6 November 2020 01:40 (ten months ago) link

well that's my friday listening all day then

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 6 November 2020 05:44 (ten months ago) link

listened to this once this morning, now going for seconds. it’s sounding very good indeed. it really gets going from track 5 (“Imihla nezolo”). that whole middle section is fire - a warm, comforting fire.
highlight of the first go-round for me might have been “Ngiyahamba” with Mthunzi.

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 6 November 2020 17:05 (ten months ago) link

“Konke” is very good as well, it’s the only track produced by Claudio (of x Kenza fame)

xp to ufo

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 6 November 2020 17:07 (ten months ago) link

another track from the Sun-El album dropped:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a90xU2bQEZ0
Sun-El Musician ft. Ami Faku • Mandinaye

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Sunday, 15 November 2020 19:15 (ten months ago) link

geez

that album's gonna be so good isn't it, even if it's a long double album

dyl, Sunday, 15 November 2020 22:19 (ten months ago) link

Was curious initially that this and the Simmy albums were dropping in fall/winter and then I realized in South Africa it's spring/summer - the perfect time for these records.

octobeard, Monday, 16 November 2020 01:13 (ten months ago) link

Good god Emakhaya is so gorgeous. Sun-el really has that magic touch as a producer. I cannot wait for his to drop soon. Gonna be really really nice to have some of his warmth for this cold and dark winter.

octobeard, Monday, 16 November 2020 01:22 (ten months ago) link

"mandinaye" is fantastic, wow. i sure hope he's able to keep it up for the entire 2.5 hours lol

ufo, Monday, 16 November 2020 02:24 (ten months ago) link

“December” is a really big thing in SA, it’s the festive season and the summer holidays rolled into one, so everyone is on a quest for the biggest December song.

xps

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Monday, 16 November 2020 19:50 (ten months ago) link

I'm just getting around to the Simmy album, and it is of course excellent. This year is honestly too much...

rob, Tuesday, 17 November 2020 00:14 (ten months ago) link

It took me awhile but Simmy's Tugela Fairy LP COMPLETELY got its hooks in me over the past two weeks, making it hard to listen to anything else. There are a few clunkers ('We Were Here' and 'Time After Time') but it's pretty unassailable as a complete album. Much the same as the first one though, it required regular repeat plays to fully sink in... songs like 'Wamuhle' and 'Mabhungu,' which now feel indispensable, were kinda blah on first listen.

Four Seasons Total Manscaping (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:45 (ten months ago) link

That said, I would still say 'Emakhaya' is the best of the bunch. And I'm still loving 'Yaz Abantu'! I feel like both are legit worth pushing as best of the year songs.

Four Seasons Total Manscaping (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:55 (ten months ago) link

ladies x gentlemen, Claudio x Kenza:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcKHw0rtWss
Claudio x Kenza ft. Omi Kobi • Pot of Gold

see them perform it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMWGGKsfntY
Q Twins ft. Claudio x Kenza • Vuma

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tz7ngRcC9w
Nobuhle ft. Claudio x Kenza • Phezulu
(not yet released, live performance)

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 20 November 2020 01:25 (ten months ago) link

...and oh hey, I got a little samthing for ya:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhVc2wq5JAs
Samthing Soweto ft. De Mthuda • Weekend

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 20 November 2020 01:36 (ten months ago) link

this new Simmy record 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

winters (josh), Saturday, 28 November 2020 09:04 (ten months ago) link

I think “Imihla Nezolo” is my favourite track - that bass, those “hey, hey”s.

Also, Sun-El & Ami Faku’s “Mandinaye” keeps growing and growing on me. It’s so beautiful.

Running up that hill but fleeting (a deal with Gop) (breastcrawl), Saturday, 28 November 2020 16:28 (ten months ago) link

yes the simmy album is really good, shame on me for taking so long to get to it

dyl, Saturday, 28 November 2020 21:24 (ten months ago) link

I went to listen to the Simmy on hike today, typed in Simi by accident and lo and behold I like her too! (Updated highlife from what I've gathered so far)

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Sunday, 29 November 2020 01:29 (nine months ago) link

just leaving this here: an online launch event for the Sun-El album that starts in 10 hours (23h15 until midnight SA time). it’s free, but you have to register your info at some event ticketing/payment company platform in order to validate your ticket, which made me decide to pass on this opportunity, but ymmv:

#ToTheWorldAndBeyon #ttwab Don’t miss out the virtual concert tonight 03/12/2020 (23:15).
Register for free at: https://t.co/QsLuV7lQ3o
Follow the commander @sunelmusicianza for more info.

— Sphiwe Aaron Zwane  (@Sphiwe_Zwane) December 3, 2020

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Thursday, 3 December 2020 11:06 (nine months ago) link

btw Sun-El has dropped four more new tracks in the past four days. I now feel confident enough to make the following predictions for the album:

• there will be loads of great music on it
• and plenty of less than great music as well
• 1+1=2: it will be much too long

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Thursday, 3 December 2020 12:27 (nine months ago) link

i expect that at the very least it'll be possible to carve an excellent ~hour of music out of it

ufo, Thursday, 3 December 2020 12:41 (nine months ago) link

oh for sure
also: it's unlikely i'll be able to sufficiently listen to it before the end of January

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 3 December 2020 20:35 (nine months ago) link

i will not have enough time to listen to the whole thing before i should sleep so i think i'll just start w/ vol. 1 tonight

opener is v epic... i think that's a "nature boy" interpolation for a few seconds?... despite being relatively unmoved by some of the preview tracks i'm not especially confident in that prediction breastcrawl. but we shall see!

dyl, Friday, 4 December 2020 05:28 (nine months ago) link

have only listened to the first disc so far but it's all gorgeous. only issue is when the album is 80 minutes long, the songs do blend together a bit, so it'll take a while to really wrap my head around it.

he's said the first disc is supposed to be his classic sound (he certainly succeeded there!) and the second disc is him experimenting and broadening his sound so i'm curious how different it will be. i didn't like "chasing the summer" much when i listened to it yesterday though.

ufo, Friday, 4 December 2020 09:33 (nine months ago) link

that virtual concert I mentioned the other day is now on YouTube, and serves as a wonderful good-old-fashioned-album-length introduction to this ambitious endeavour - 46 minutes to the album’s 156:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5aPZ6-I71Y

very nice visuals too, and Tout EL World shows up - with the exception of Claudio x Kenza

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 20:23 (nine months ago) link

listened to the whole thing yesterday, sorta let it wash over me in the semi-background. most everything sounded good at the very least. hope to discover some stunners when I’ll be playing it loud. (“Lengane” with Simmy is probably one, it’s been around for a while).

there was one immediate lovely surprise for me tho, the track I happened to play last of all: the very un-Sun-El-like “No Drama” which has an amapiano-by-way-of-West-Africa feel.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 20:53 (nine months ago) link

Listened to the first disc yesterday and the 2nd today. It's a lot more consistent than his last one overall, but the peaks are not nearly as high. There's no Akanamali or Sonini on this, despite the latter's vocalist Simmy guesting on 4(!) tracks. He's digging into a formula more, and while there's some interesting genre dabbling on the 2nd disc and the production remains quite impeccable, a part of me is worried he'll never touch the transcendence of those early singles again.

octobeard, Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:29 (nine months ago) link

Despite the criticisms, there's a pretty amazing record here, especially if you edit it down to one disc, which I might end up doing at some point. Hard not to expect quite a bit of filler on an album 2 hours and 40 minutes long.

octobeard, Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:30 (nine months ago) link

agree that those highest Himalaya highs are not there, but the four lead singles (“Uhuru”, “Ubomi Abumanga”, “Never Never” and “Mandinaya”) have all been amazing, and he could (should) have included “Into Ingawe” as well. if you add the next-best gorgeous new tracks and one or two of those Sun-El instrumentals, plus the Niniola and “No Drama” as bonuses you’d have a magnificent set.
it becomes a lot less interesting when he features Sauti Sol, and “Garden”-variety Sun-El is not where it’s at. a Chris Martin collab is probably inevitable tho.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:57 (nine months ago) link

I feel the second album blues more with the new Simmy. it’s very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a folder with a lot of tracks to me, whereas the first Tugela Fairy was a relatively concise and perfectly balanced out album.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 23:03 (nine months ago) link

oh btw, if you came here for the first new Sha Sha song in over a year, you can find it over here on the “eMcimbini”/Kabza & Maphorisa thread.

it’s very dreamy.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 23:24 (nine months ago) link

I feel the second album blues more with the new Simmy. it’s very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a folder with a lot of tracks to me

I need to revisit it again, but I feel similarly about hers as I do with Sun-El's - quantity over quality, but with a baseline of quality still present. If you edit it down it's great, but still a step down from her debut. I'm not feeling "blues" per se with these records, they're both still great. I suppose that sentiment only comes off due to the relative comparisons. It's hard for any artist to pull off that untouchable magic they both had a couple years ago a 2nd time in a row, let alone the rest of their careers. I would love to be able to see them perform at some point post-pandemic. I hope they can find broader success outside of Africa/S.A. and that in turn might evolve their sound.

octobeard, Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:19 (nine months ago) link

with the sun-el album i largely agree that while it doesn't quite reach the incredible highs of "akanamali" and "sonini", it's still stronger than i expected for a 160 minute album and even when he's at his most formulaic it's still quite enjoyable because his formula is that good. as breastcrawl mentioned, the strongest tracks are still fantastic. he's kinda the ideal artist to make something this long because it's such pleasant music to have in the background all day. the second disc doesn't really expand his sound as much as i was expecting from his stated intention though.

the simmy album is a little more sprawling than her debut too but it's still quite strong. i still need to spend more time with it but it's not an obvious step down or anything

ufo, Sunday, 6 December 2020 01:03 (nine months ago) link

ymmv but i thought the new simmy album requires LOTS of repeat time to open properly. i wrote it off after three listens then gave it one more go and it just started catching fire.

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 02:59 (nine months ago) link

Most of the English language tracks are very cringey for me. Couldn't get through them.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 03:47 (nine months ago) link

Agreed! Skip them!

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 04:42 (nine months ago) link

New Samthing Soweto EP! Not yet cracked but I have a lotta faith in this guy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHbRGDXHP5w

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Friday, 11 December 2020 05:58 (nine months ago) link


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