Parissoweto is an online music exchange project between France and South Africa which I founded in order to contribute to the cultural relationship between the two countries. The particular focus here is on independent artists. All the write-ups and their French translations can be found here.  




Guy Buttery | instrumental guitar folk, Kwazulu-Natal (ZA)

“…His compositions are rich with nostalgia and longing, yet propelled by an ever-present sense of optimism. There is a cinematic quality to the songs, as though they are images or sequences, with Buttery cleverly crafting soundscapes to capture moments in time: impressions of light, shadow, movement…; of laughter and silence, introspection and memory. When words fail to transcribe our experiences and impressions, it so happens that other forms of art exist to externalise them. Guy Buttery, the down-to-earth bloke with a guitar, unwittingly, achieves exactly this.”

The Wild Eastern Arches | psychedelic garage rock, Cape Town (ZA)

“The Wild Eastern Arches seem to flow naturally out of their environment: it’s been some time now that Cape Town has become the country’s burrow of alternative cultural activity, determined in its DIY spirit to produce works of quality. The Wild Eastern Arches explore psychedelic garage rock by layering tones and textures and creating experimental soundtracks to long, fuzzy summers. Their unhurried melodies create a sense of languid anticipation, of days patiently turning into nights; and seem to seek out the fleetingness of youth, and eternalise it, like in “Fever Dream” (from their first critically acclaimed EP, “Mountain”). Reminiscent of The Dodos-meet-The Doors, the Wild Eastern Arches move into more mature, more sophisticated territory with the release of their latest full-length, “Salamander Sun”, leaving the listener with songs like blurred impressions; the quiet burning of the golden age. The paradox here is that when listening to the Wild Eastern Arches, you never seem to leave this transient space.”

Dirty Deep | dirty blues, Strasbourg (FR)

“[…] Initially touring as a one-man band, guitarist and singer Victor travelled with his dirty-blues stash (slides, harmonicas, guitars, homemade percussion contraptions) across Europe to “spread his gospel”, as it were. Today, Victor is accompanied on stage by Geoffrey Stoep, an excellent hip hop drummer from the group Art District. The result is a balls-to-the wall blues explosion straight out of the Delta. Dirty Deep’s influences lie in the raw, early blues of Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker and Son House […] Victor does much to keep his blues roots relevant […] translating his heroes’ songs and tales within a more contemporary, heavier, almost grunge-like dialect. By keeping it simple and honest, Dirty Deep rekindles the heart of rock and roll music today and compels one to move to his foot-stomping tunes: Dirty Deep’s music is of the kind of brute honesty that is often amiss in our age of posh, clean blues productions.”

Johnathan Martin | folk / blues /rock, Pretoria (ZA)

“Johnathan Martin creates and operates through and in response to music; as a necessity, as a life-source. Johnathan Martin’s relationship with music is reciprocal. His songs are therefore alive in their sincerity, their vulnerability and most of all, their beauty: layers of tones and textures are carved into haunting melodies that, despite the burden they carry, seem to have been composed effortlessly. As such, it is safe to say that Johnathan Martin is one of South Africa’s finest rock vocalists and guitarists, having forged a singular style over the years as guitarist alongside Piet Botha in Jack Hammer, as former frontman of No Quarter and currently playing in his own rock outfit, In My Blood. Within his songwriting you will find references to Neil Young, John Martyn, Alice in Chains, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses, as his deep appreciation for these musicians informed his own playing. Perhaps you will also discern an uncanny musician’s curse of unrelenting passion that makes him bow to no one. As such, Johnathan Martin is far too unsung in the South African entertainment industry. But then again, Johnathan Martin, as he once said himself, is not a fly-by-night kind of guy.”

Carol’s Cousin | country-blues / folk, Giromagny (FR)

“No, the first and only album released by Carol’s Cousin, is no ordinary musical undertaking. No is a document, released some thirty years into Dom Ferrer’s journey. Born and bred in Savoie, Dom’s fascination with America – its wide open spaces, lakes and mountains and the stories contained within them first drew him there in the 1980s […] Dom Ferrer is a travelling man, a keen observer, a story-teller. His album is a brutally honest collection of a man’s journey into adulthood through to middle-age; and lays bare his own vulnerability, both in moments of hardship as in moments of euphoria and peace. The music is stripped-down blues-infused folk; the overall darker shades – minor chords, his matured, grated voice reminiscent of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave – are dotted with light, in the swaying melodies and bright whistles of some tracks. Despite the deep voice and all the grunge that goes along with the idea of a middle-aged rock ‘n roll poet, what remains the most haunting in Carol’s Cousin’s debut album is its fragility […] The crux of Carol’s Cousin’s journey is about venturing into the great unknown, by letting on that vulnerability is bravery.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s