Okzharp (pronounced “oh-kay-zarp”) is a project that pivots around South African born London producer Gervase Gordon, who still maintains strong links to Capetown and Johannesburg and the creative work coming from there.
‘Dumela 113’ - translated as ‘Hello 113’ - is a suite of house mutations that feature the vocals of Manthe Ribane, an artist who runs the creative studio in Capetown called Studio113 with her two siblings, while her own work spans dance (she toured as a dancer with ‘Die Antwoord’), modelling, styling, film and photography. ‘Dumela 113’ started to take form when the South African director and photographer Chris Saunders introduced Manthe to Gervase.
Chris and Gervase had started making a film together, called ‘Ghost Diamond’, which Manthe styled, choreographed, and starred, in. Consequently two tracks on this EP, ‘Fede’ and ‘Sizzr’, are also from the film’s soundtrack. ‘Dear Ribane’s lyrics are sung in the language of Tshwana and are about being a performer and working on shoots, and the complexities of understanding different kinds of beauty and being a vessel for other people's ideas of beauty, mocking a row of models with the line ‘”Ostrich 1, Ostrich 2, Ostrich 3, 4, 5, 6, 7”, The lyrics open out slowly over a sharp kick drum as a minimal keyboard creeps around Manthe’s poised vocals.
‘Sizzr’, delivered in English, is a positive mission statement about living in the moment, standing up for what you believe and not letting bad vibes get to you, sung with vocoder over bittersweet but positive keys, flipping from beatless to heads-down house. Inspired by a childhood game, ‘Fede’s lyrics play with the question 'How are you?' and all the different ways this can be interpreted, Manthe’s voice glistening with android fx over driving toms and deep bass.
The EP finishes with ‘Glonet’, an instrumental of dubstep-indebted house with a wistful oriental melody that shifts gears between half and double speed.
1. Dear Ribane ft Manthe
2. Sizzr ft Manthe
1. Fede ft Manthe