I bet you thought I’d given up on these. Or maybe I’m projecting a little bit because it’s so fucking late. Either way, you/I/we were wrong because it is finally time for the April edition of the Almost Perfect Newsletter.
Why is it coming to you in the middle of May? Well, I’ve been busy. Fuck. Chill. I’ve spent the better part of the last month helping my gran pack up her life to move to Joburg. She is now in Joburg with my mom and I’m back in my flat in Glenwood. These last seven months have been a truly humbling and eye-opening experience. I’m grateful my gran and I got to spend the time we did together, I just wish it was under better circumstances.
I now, once again, have to figure out what I’m doing with my life. I’m sure whatever I decide on next will be challenging and fulfilling, and if not, it’ll make me rich. In the meantime, we’re on the road to episode 100 of The Almost Perfect Podcast. Wait, am I already doing something with my life? Weird.
I’m trying to drum up some hype for the episode even though I have no idea if it’s actually going to be any good. I’m planning a “lessons learned” episode for Episode 100 so it’d be pretty helpful to hear what you’ve learned from the podcast and which guests helped you learn it. Yes, I am shamelessly asking you to do my job for me, but I also don’t want to listen to myself have all those conversations again. My mental health is already a daily tightrope walk over a tank of sharks, so plz bbz, tell me what you’ve learned from these interviews? You can just reply to this email. Thnx. I’m also sharing past episodes on the socials so look out for those if you haven’t been around from day 1.
So that’s where I’m at, or at least where I want you to know I’m at. Here comes an all-local lineup of media to consume whilst you drudge through this Sisyphean existence. Enjoy.
Listen to This:
Nguni Machina is an AI made album through the guidance of Vulane Mthembu. Vulane fed a neural network some data sets and this album is the end result. While there aren’t any hits on here, it’s a fascinating experiment in what’s currently possible. Personally, if I didn’t know it was AI, I don’t think I’d be able to tell. It’s wild to hear just how good it is at switching things up and creating dynamic songs.
The release and all the data behind it is open source and open to you to be manipulated however you like.
Give it a listen here: https://ditto.fm/nguni-machina
Loyiso Gola is one of South Africa’s finest comedy exports and Unlearning is a perfect example of why. With two decades of experience under his belt, Loyiso is comfortable and confident enough to take his time exploring a number of deep issues in silly ways. Loyiso draws attention to the value of seeing things differently and unlearning ideas and behaviours we’ve grown up with. It’s a cerebral comedy special for people who want their comedy to be more than just jokes.
Check it out on Netflix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuSNWpQbJiI
Wrestling With Emotions (WWE) is a dating simulator made by South African game studio Team Lazerbeam back in 2016. It’s a fucking hilarious dating simulator where you get to speed date a number of wild and crazy wrestlers. It reminds me of old text-based choose your own adventure games, just with more modern art and jokes. Team Lazerbeam have made a number of fun dating games full of silly jokes but as a rasslin’ fan, WWE hit the spot.
I got it for $3 but you can it and all their dating sims for free by signing up for their newsletter.
I saw recently on Twitter that WWE2 is on the way soon and I actually still have Teenage Blob to play, which I’m gonna do over on Twitch once I’ve set that up again.
Paul Gioia is a musician, teacher, and recording studio owner. He’s the guitarist and singer for ATFN, a punk-influenced prog band that was formed back in 1998, and has been recording bands and artists at Asylum Studios since 2000. He also holds an Honours in Music from Tuks. Paul’s had an extensive career but a hand injury at the peak of ATFN’s fame nearly ended it too soon. Thankfully, Paul managed to work through it. After a 14-year hiatus, the band put out a new EP called ‘Reverence’ in 2019. 2021 has seen them get picked up by Mongrel Records with a number of singles on the way.
Loyiso Gola is a comedian. The twice Emmy-nominated host of Late Night News with Loyiso Gola has had a phenomenal career. He’s travelled the world telling jokes and earned many milestones that used to seem out of reach for South African comedians. He’s performed on Live at the Apollo, was a guest on QI, and recently dropped a one-hour special on Netflix that he’s been working on for the last six years called Unlearning.
Sibaphiwe “Sibs” Matiyela is a voice-over artist and newsreader. You’ll probably recognise her dulcet tones from 5FM although she’s had an impressive career that spans multiple radio stations. Starting out at campus radio, Sibs has worked her way through news desks across the country for over a decade. Voice-over work is a natural extension of her talents and something she’s excelling at now, but it turns out breaking into the industry was a lot tougher than she first expected. While her radio journey has been put on hold for now due to the SABC’s recent restructuring, Sibs is a tenacious and talented woman who won’t be held back by adversity for too long.
Nax (Matthieu “Makkie” Auriacombe) is a musician and producer. Born in France but raised in Pretoria, Nax was destined to make music due to his dad, his uncle, and his brother (Johan Auriacombe) all being musicians. His mom even bought him and his brother their first instruments. Since then it’s been a whirlwind ride that’s taken him all over the country in a number of different bands.