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MATTEmatters: I guess I love you

By Marcela Filomena

I love Die Antwoord. Wholeheartedly.  Intensely.  Balls out, even if it makes no sense.  The closest thing I can equate it to is the obsessive, hormone-mad teen in the jaw-of-life grip of their first real crush.  Each other entry this week is related to my unabashed passion for their own peculiar brand of zef side cool.   

music - I'd be hard put to define precisely what it is that attracts me to this group.  Each time I show them to anyone, the reactions range from blasé boredom to plain aversion, with the remarkably enthusiastic exception of CampoFormio's Fernando, who shared the correct attitude of visceral excitement, "Hay una tendencia de aceptar o rechazar las cosas a base de lo que esta socialmente aceptado. Pero esa manifestación es más limitativa aún cuando uno la analiza dentro del contexto en el que nos encontramos."

Maybe it's their wild caricaturesque quality, their balls-out commitment to their zef aesthetic, or my love of the bizarre; the fact remains that Die Antwoord is my current no-fail turn-on. On paper, they don't work: early 90's dance chart energy, beats we've all heard before, bleached blond white South Africans spitting Eminem-influenced lyrics.  But there's something about Yolandi Vi$$er's tiny frame poured into gold lamé leggings and barely there tank tops, her trash attitude, with savage lyrics featuring conspiracy and science fiction themes- it's hypnotizing.  There's been a lot of controversy surrounding this group, mainly because the group's many previous incarnations beg the question, is Die Antwoord actually real or only the newest, most satirical performance piece?

Judge for yourselves: this is the brand spanking new single, demonstrating much better production values, though I would strongly recommend starting off with Fatty Boom Boom, my personal favorite and their visual tour de force.

filmTerence Neale makes the best ads on tv.  Pity they only air in South Africa.  Combining an off-beat sense of humor with clever use of sets and props, Neale also addresses controversial issues such as racism and corruption, whilst promoting cd compilations or Nando's.  I could gush on and on, but it’s best to see for yourselves.  It won’t even take up much of your time, as most of the ads only lasts around 30 jam-packed seconds.  Seriously, check them out- and while you're at it, have a looksee at the other directors in the production company, Egg Films.

design - Ruffeo Hearts Lil' Snotty has to be the silliest name for a fashion line I would actually wear.  Combining streetwear swagger with futuristic silhouettes, color-blocking and house-made characters such as Empathetic Eyes, Bitch Face, Smokey Saul and Chilled Out Charlie, it is the brainchild of sometime feminist rapper and playwright R. Mackswell Sherman and Sarah Jones.  Founded in 2005 in Olympia, WA, the whole thing started off tiny, with both Sherman and Jones sewing it all themselves.  Thankfully by now they've moved to Brooklyn and outsourced production to local NYC workshops, in keeping with the fair trade ethic with which they launched the brand.  The result is body-con clothing made for all of you out there who enjoy & thus can't get enough of the trippy, frustratingly annoying surrealness of Adventure Time.  But RHLS doesn't stop there, as they also sponsor apprx. twenty musicians through their production company, including Le1f, Prince Rama and Guardian Alien

art – While never much of a fan of modern mixed media collage-type artists (I feel the genre is a bit too facile- subject up for debate, of course), I love love love Montreal based Sandra Chevrier.  Her work falls somewhere in a gray area between fashion illustration, comics and painting. She combines comic book art with watercolor brushstrokes of varying densities for a dynamic combination of strength and softness in her heroines.  Her strange portraits in which comic book images of SupermanWonder Woman and the Joker punch, fly and die in place of eyes, noses or mouths result in mysterious portraits with an ambiguous social message.  The aesthetic is seductive and familiar, but I have to ask myself why these women are effectively being gagged and blindfolded by predominantly male superheroes.  In any case, I'd still love to hang one up in my living room.

item - While browsing through an adult toy store (it's not what you think, I promise) I came across these peculiarly cool doll sculptures.  Half Tim Burton half Takashi Murakami, Double Parlour is made by a husband and wife duo based in San Francisco & each figurine comes with its own particular backstory- for filling in the blanks and knowing exactly what type of bug it enjoys collecting, of course.  Say no more- character arks for mantelpiece dust-collectors- sign me up for a dozen!