January 29, 2018


Filed under: kaganof,mick raubenheimer — ABRAXAS @ 12:51 pm

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first published here: https://weekendspecial.co.za/aryan-kaganof-ffuilgat-kakboeke/

June 7, 2013

The curve of her breast a comma.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 3:09 pm

The curve of her breast was a comma
her nipple a taut full stop
I designed a trajectory
against her feminine grammar

Starting at her aureola I
proceeded to cusp with
musk-drunk tongue
the weight of her commas

Making my way down
drizzling syntax I
settled in the
aromatic nest
of her belly
then laid siege
all thrust and buck
to the wet,
smelted valley
of her sacral glint.


May 22, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 7:25 pm

When she was


she dreamt all day long

of princes in

gleaming armour

These days


polulate her dreams.

January 25, 2013

mick raubenheimer interviews felix laband

Filed under: felix laband,mick raubenheimer,music — ABRAXAS @ 3:33 pm

Felix Laband and the Impossible Day.

When I call Felix Laband up I have no idea what to expect. It’s been six wide years since ‘Dark Days Exit’, Laband’s high watermark following on cult favourites ‘Thin shoes in June’ and ‘4/4 Down the stairs’, the latter two albums having already re-sculpted dance-floor soundtracks throughout Cape Town, and brought him to the attention of hip German Electronica and Acid-Jazz label Compost.
‘Dark Days Exit’, widely and wildly lauded by critics throughout the hipper corners of the globe, introduced a more pensive aspect of Laband’s musicality. Its moods shifted from prettily haunted to vaguely ominous – its beauty was carved in twilight spaces, its beats shuffling in shadow. It was a great record, and – by his own admission – was created in a period of inspired productivity.
Following the clamor of praise and applause, Laband opted to withdraw from the adoring crowds. Then seemed to fall away from the earth itself.. leaving, in his stead, the usual proliferation of whispers and rumours that tend to accompany such sudden and sustained disappearances.
I’m surprised at the relaxed voice on the other side of the phone, inviting me to his studio in Rosebank. When my editor asked me to interview Laband at his new spot in Jo’burg, I calmly assured him that Laband was very much Cape-centric, and that his ‘new spot in Jo’burg’ was probably just another snippet of ficticious rumour. Several days later – more than a little disbelievingly – I found myself driving up a typically pretty, leaf-twirling Rosebank street.
Stepping into Laband’s home is like stepping into a living Felix Laband album cover, in 3D. The cozy, calm space of trees and geriatric-friendly gardens outside are replaced by Laband’s signature cheeky, unsettling manipulations of found images –
Here’s Barack Obama’s face blooming Ziggy Stardust tattoos; there’s Mugabe poking his newly mandible-fanged head through an ANC poster; here’s a cute huddle of Pornettes being penetrated by lucky skeletons; there a sweaty babe being ruptured by weird technologies.
Some of the collisions/collages bear the legend ‘Deaf Safari’..

‘And that shit’s happening right now..’

Laband and longstanding girlfriend Lauren have to pop out to a friend’s place (I’m a tad early), and instead of asking me to take a drive and come back later, or wait outside, Felix says I can chill in their lounge, “We’ll just be 15 minutes..”
From whichever perspective you view it, this is a very prettily ribboned gift for any journo or fan to receive – 15 minutes of unselfconscious exploration.. of inspecting the periphera, the creative traces of an artist’s living space. I flip through two boxes of records, which, along with the room-lining cd collection (hopping from book-shelves to cardboard box to cardboard boxes to crates and back) is mostly, and surprisingly, generic. No Steve Hofmeyr though. A handful of dvd’s scattered about are more intriguing – some dark and experimental titles wink at me.

When they return (“Feel free to read some books..” Laband mentioned before leaving) I’m paging through an occult pulp novel by Ira Levin (author of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’.) “You should check these out; insane stuff. Important,” he says while scooping up a selection. Then he pops off to make some coffee (“Do you take milk?”)
Felix Laband has been reading. A lot. The tumble of books he hands me are mostly non-fiction, “this guy missioned right into Sierra Leone, amazing shit.” Rwanda’s RPF; psychopathic child gangs in Sierra Leone; political analyses of corrupt regimes; the behind-the-hush cesspool of what SA troops did and experienced at the border in those sinister Eighties; ANC rebels being taught the primal power of necklacing in Angola. “These kids (in Sierra Leone) basically waltzed into the capital and hacked off everybody’s limbs. Everybody’s.”
Heavy stuff, and one can see it in Felix’s eyes, in his gait, the heaviness. It takes something out of you exploring the dark – it claims its pound of flesh. Africa, that is Laband’s new mission – the Africa behind the scenes, behind the screens, behind the vaulted walls of fearful rich white/black folk soothing Africa’s reality away with the salve of money. Money has become the ultimate security system – the metaphorical distance that turns tragedy into comedy, or at least into something inoffensive. Whatever’s been in his veins before, Laband is mainlining harsh reality, “It just freaks me out that this shit (the Rwandan genocide and ongoing nightmares in Sierra Leone) went down while we were teens. It makes you realize that some people exist in a living hell, while others party next door.”
Laband is tired of the hip crowds, the self-congratulatory throngs of Capetonian Hipsters, with their jaded wit – with their comforting distance from hacked-off limbs and prepubescent children torturing people for kicks. “It makes you realize we’re all flesh,” he says, in reference to some deeply disturbing Sierra Leone footage he’d seen.
Laband is meaning to inject some reality into his music too. That, and some Jozi. I ask him about his move to Johannesburg. The answer is simple – he wants to mix with new artists, new rhythms; he wants to move new crowds.
One of the tracks he plays me off the long-pending new album ‘Deaf Safari’, is neck-deep in Kwaito.. but a tweaked Kwaito – bounce-heavy, yet Alien.. Another track snakes ingeniously around the rhythmic rants of some North African evangelist. Said track freshly reveals the inherent musicality of African sermons – music is Everywhere, in prayer and damnation alike.
It’s an interesting approach, ‘Deaf Safari’: Get people boogying to get them thinking. Listening to the ‘Deaf Safari’ tunes I sense Laband’s got his approach down.. The familiar motifs still pop up here and there – tinkling vibraphones, prettily looped acoustic guitars – but there’s a new edge here: Dark Funk – Phosphorescent beauty which can only be appreciated in shadow..
“People can talk all they want, and I guess I’ve kinda lived up to all the rumours… but when ‘Deaf Safari’ drops I want it to hit. I want it to mean something.”
Laband started off as a teen punk – ‘Incurable’ when he was in Standard 7, later ‘Fingerhead’. It was listening to electro-Goth and Industrial groups (Alien Sex Fiend, Skinny Puppy) that got Laband interested in programming (their latter outfit utilized a drum machine).
That spirit – adolescent, hungry – is still there, waiting to pounce.

Hungry Futures.

Felix Laband is revisiting his live band days – ‘Deaf Safari’ will be the first Laband album to feature his own vocals, own lyrics. “I’m at a place where I have something to say..” From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be something of an onslaught.

Check one. Check 1-2-3.

First published in BPM Magazine.


January 22, 2013

Forest of a thousand tongues – Kate Bush and the kick inside

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 3:42 pm

When Catherine Bush was thirteen years old she was already versed in the language of piano, and in the old pump organ kept in the shed of the family’s sprawling, East Wickham farm.

By fifteen she had authored dozens of songs, some of which – including hit ‘The Man with the Child in his eyes’– would appear on her debut album four years later.

Intrinsically English, Kate Bush’s highly romantic musical world was rooted in the older British Isles which still hummed with legend and lore – whose fields and forests were still home to mysterious creatures of neighboring Gaelic and Celtic descent. Worlds whose secrets were magickal, rather than magical.

Of Royal line come.

Kate’s journey into the world of Pop music was more than a little charmed. She was born into a musical family – her dad was a doctor who was also a talented pianist, and all of her siblings became musicians. Much of the material for her first albums was conceived in the rambling idyll of the Bush farmstead. Discovered at age sixteen by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, who subsequently championed her – even producing her first professional demos – by nineteen she was topping the British charts with the delicious histrionics of ‘Wuthering Heights’.

Bush’s first album, ‘The Kick Inside’, was an auspicious debut. Her already sophisticated musicality and gymnastic vocals aside, its songs referenced literature, philosophy, and more obscure fields, and wasn’t shy of courting the dark and outre’ – the title track tells the story of an incest-sprung pregnancy by way of the sister’s romantic suicide note.

Bush was also unabashedly sensual, but rendered sex and sexuality elegantly – poetically – compared to the coy vulgarity of most Pop and Rock trends. Her infectious celebration of feminine self was manifest in the gloriously un-checked twists and leaps of her shining vox.

More so than any female artist before her, even Patti Smith, Bush was a potently independent artist. Still a teenager when ‘The Kick Inside’ was released, she stood her ground against her record label, EMI, insisting that the idiosyncratic ‘Wuthering Heights’ be the lead single, rather than their pick – the more Rock oriented, accessible, ‘James and The Cold Gun’.

By the release of her third album, Bush had asserted near total control of her music. By 1985, with the release of masterpiece ‘Hounds of Love’, she controlled every aspect of recording; operating from her stable-turned-cutting edge- studio.

Bush’s unflinching independence would inspire a legion of subsequent female artists, perhaps even more so than her brilliant musical flair. The likes of Tori Amos, Aimee Mann, Florence & The Machine and Joanna Newsom seem unthinkable without her precedence.

Beneath the shimmering surfaces.

That Bush’s 5th LP, ‘Hounds of Love’, following on a string of commercial hits from previous albums, would be her highest charter yet, is testament to her uncanny gift for marrying commercial success with eccentric originality.

If one takes into account that the second half of the record is essentially a Prog- Rock concept album about a woman drowning – now humming, now booming with technological experimentalism and Jazz undercurrents – its success beggars belief. The single (and four of the first five songs on ‘Hounds of Love’ would become high-charting singles) ‘Cloudbusting’ even knocked Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ off the number one slot in the charts..

As a whole, ‘Hounds of Love’ is a strange creature: It was sonically sculpted to have two halves. The first consists of ‘The Pop World According to Kate Bush’ – a sonically delightful space which houses ‘Running up that hill’ and ‘Cloudbusting’. Its second half is more demanding: An aural suite exploring the hallucinatory experiences of a drowning woman, it flows and ebbs, never becoming prosaic. The ‘Ninth Wave’ suite contains in its depths even more layered beauty than is to be found in the glinting genius of songs that precede it.
A phenomenon of an album.

mick raubenheimer

[First published in Muse magazine]

November 8, 2012

mick raubenheimer reviews Kyle Shepherd’s – South African History !X

Filed under: Kyle Shepherd,mick raubenheimer,music,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 2:22 pm

At once an interrogation of and meditation on the obscure roots of South Africana, Shepherd’s third studio album, helmed for the most part by his quartet (with Shane Cooper on bass duties, Jonno Sweetman on drums and Buddy Wells on tenor sax), is dynamic and hugely evocative. Although consisting for the most part of original compositions, the album predominantly evokes shards and strokes of traditional (South) African musics – from San trance music, to Boeremusiek and Vastrap, to a gloriously fun reworking of Afrikaans folk song ‘Bobbejaan klim die berg’.

Acknowledged by Shepherd as being a kind of response to the hidden, or obscured, history of that curious beast, South Africa, ‘South African History !X’ has a strong presence of the San and Khoi-Khoi cultures – appropriately so, as these two peoples were the first inhabitants of this corner of the continent. Musically the album is rich, dense even, but also playful – a questing, inquisitive spirit tempered by impossible longing.

Shepherd and his cadre are becoming masters at reading one another’s musical moods and possibilities, making for texturally steeped beauty. Also features the late great Zim Ngqawana.

Powerful stuff.

October 18, 2012

mick raubenheimer reviews wrong-eyed jesus

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 6:05 pm

Classic Albums: Jim White – ‘Wrong-eyed Jesus! (The mysterious tale of how I shouted)’

‘Way down South I know a girl who is blind/ She walks alone along a lonely highway each day/ She dreams that one day a man will pull up in a car/
He’ll open up the door; she’ll climb in and he will say:/ “Hey babe, whatcha know? I hope you’re ready to go./ Coz today is a perfect day, for chasing tornadoes.”

Swampland gospel.

Country music has always had a wayward heart. Lonely, a little deranged. Tremblingly hunkered down in the pew to atone for the previous night’s ‘incident’. It is possibly this thorny truth – the hungry, desperate heart of the genre – that has led to it turning up the floodlights roundabout the late Seventies, reinventing itself as the grotesquely sweet and earnest Country Cabaret strummed by the likes of Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus and all those other bright-mouthed, Can-Canning gals and okes, effectively turning the genre into a Honky Tonk Disneyland.

Said floodlights might have cast the shadows off stage, but it also amplified them; occasioned them to multiply in fertile periphera.

The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, had of course always been around, to keep the dark and broken flame afire, but since the onslaught of mainstream candy-coated Country most people are forgiven for thinking the genre begins and ends with airbrushed barn dances beneath a winking moon.
Nestled in an unlikely Country music section – sticking out like a sore thumb between the smile-strained faces of Mister and Missus Country – Jim White’s quietly auspicious debut, 1997’s ‘Wrong-eyed Jesus!,’ weirdly glows. The cover and booklet are strewn with offbeat and sinister biblical references; inside, the songs are disheveled by beauty.

Born in 1957 in Pensecola Florida, White grew up in the deep American South, enduring a childhood he acknowledges as having been wildly hypocritical, even schizophrenic . Bloody bar brawls and bible verses and wife beatings and gospel choirs and hurricanes and drought and lung-belching alcoholics and molested children and Revelations and drugs and lynchings and crimson faced, Bible-thumping preachers all cluttered together in the same space, vying for breath.

The impact of this grotesquary on White’s sensitive consciousness seems to have been profound, bruising him into a roaming loner who toyed with, then dropped, several unrelated fates (White is said to have been, at various times, homeless, a fashion model, a professional surfer, a preacher, a boxer and a NY City cab driver), before David Byrne’s funky indie label Luaka Bop offered him a friendly record deal.

And the Sun went down on the Moon.

“Long about an hour before sunrise/ 
she drags his body down to the edge of the swollen river/ 
wrapped in a red velvet curtain/ 
stolen from the movie theatre where she works.”

White’s debut arrived fully formed. Like his wild, mythologized childhood (the liner notes also contain a shocking, illuminating 12-page account of a string of brutishly dazzling and disturbing co-incidences from a season of his youth) the album entertains unlikely bedfellows – suggestions of Jazz; glinting, broken plucks of guitar; unexpected flashes of Soul; majestic flourishes; funky drum backdrops; ghosted vocals echoing themselves out of rhythm… melancholy and a collection of devils, and occasional, thrilling choruses from divine entities. The songs contain scatterlings and outcasts, beggars and rapists and innocents and killers and dreamers in its narrative menagerie. It is a world to get lost in, and, thankfully, White somehow succeeds in coating these often terrible scenes with a gorgeous musical sheen, so that one feels safe even whilst bathing in darkness and moonshine.

At its essence, its array of stylistic influences aside, ‘(The mysterious tale of how I shouted) Wrong-eyed Jesus!” ‘ is country music. Honest, original, un-glossed Country. Music from a haunted, broken Americana soil. Perverse and gifted and otherworldly.
Get it, like, yesterday.

[first published in Muse magazine]

August 8, 2012

mick raubenheimer interviews kyle shepherd

first published here: http://museonline.co.za/featured/kyle-shepherd-and-the-brightening-search/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kyle-shepherd-and-the-brightening-search

July 12, 2012

The Touré-Raichel Collective – Experience

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music — ABRAXAS @ 4:02 pm

July 1, 2012

Classic Albums: Herbie Hancock – Thrust.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 7:39 pm

Haters can hate, but that molten decade sprung between the mid-Sixties and mid-Seventies was a smorgasbord of innovation and adventure in music.

While the heady spirit of freedom – and hyper-stimuli of psychedelics – didn’t exactly wreak genius upon the average human mind (whose imaginative reach crested at tie-dye shirts, living in tepees, and emancipating body hair), artists went and dove over the edges of all kinds of edges.

Music, for one, would never be the same; nor, perhaps, ever be as rampantly inspired.

Most of us know what cliffs and rainbows were scaled in the woodlands of Rock music, but Jazz was turning into something of a chameleonic panther – hunting in stark, steaming forests slivered with stars and explosions of light.

As per usual, it was Miles who’d taken the brazen first steps into electric instrumentation (a big taboo at the time). After that, the floodgates heaved open.

Leading the Fusion campaigns were rhythmic polymath Tony Williams’ Lifetime, John McLaughlin’s solar flare Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea’s Return To Forever and Hancock’s uber-funky Headhunters. The latter was the only one to eschew the electric guitar – that then seemingly crucial part of the electric equation.

Golden flights.

By the late Sixties Herbie Hancock was already a legend in the Jazz world. At the age of 23 Hancock had joined Miles Davis’ new band, which history would dub Davis’ Second Great Quintet. Davis was looking to freshen up his sound again, and in 1963 launched said new band featuring young up-and-comers Ron Carter on bass, 17-yr old Tony Williams on drums, and Hancock on keys.

This rhythm section went on to reach unheard-of sophistication and originality, helping shape the Post-Bop movement. During his period in the quintet Hancock also released solo albums ‘Empyrean Islands’ and ‘Maiden Voyage’, two of the most popular Jazz albums of that decade.

Fired from the quintet in ‘68, “for returning late from his honeymoon” (a rather unsympathetic ground for dismissal, although typical of the sometimes icy Davis), Hancock started focusing on his own music, which would increasingly incorporate mainstream elements into his otherwise challenging compositions.

Following the peak of his experimental thrust, with the three commercially disappointing ‘Mwandishi’ albums, Hancock decided to ground his then-stratospheric explorations, rooting them in the earthy foundation of Funk. It was a brilliant move.

The result, in 1973, was ‘Headhunters’, a hip-swanging, finger-snapping Jazz Funk outing, which crossed over into the mainstream Billboard charts. This was followed by ‘Thrust’, which, across its four monstrously tight, yet galaxy traversing epics, seemed to perfectly meld the alchemic reaches of Jazz sophistry with the dizzying musks of Funk.

Like Darth Vader.

The best of Funk has a lot in common with the best of Cheese (well, for those brave of palate; the others can stick to Fourplay and cheddar) – they contain layers of intrigue, and something almost a little bit off. It’s got Whiff.

If ‘Headhunters’ was embraced by the hip mainstream for its melodic, even rhythmic accessibility, ‘Thrust’ ventured deeper into the vines and stars.

In the cd-reissue’s liner notes, drummer Mike Clark (who created that impossibly groove-infested drumbeat for album opener ‘Palm Grease’, and burns throughout) recalls being invited to join one of Fusion’s most exciting and rhythmically daunting groups, and waxes appropriately lyrical. He speaks of ‘the zone’ and meditation, of telepathy with bassist Paul Jackson Jr. He speaks of ‘higher levels’, and at one point describes Hancock striding into rehearsal with a long black overcoat, looking “like Darth Vader”, before swishing down to sit behind the keyboards and letting ‘em rip.

The four tracks on ‘Thrust’ are blistering sonic events. Even the relative ballad, that gorgeous dream ‘Butterfly’, crackles with energy.

As beautiful and cool as the melodies weaving from Hancock’s hands and flautist Bennie Maupin’s mouth are, it’s the rhythms (inter-clasped/ sidestepping/ inventing beats like some kind of flexible, temporal Rubick’s cube) that both root the album and let it flourish into Space.

Higher level stuff.


June 20, 2012

Elliptic glint – The twirls of Word.

Filed under: literature,mick raubenheimer — ABRAXAS @ 10:57 am

It all started rather innocently, as the most rapturous and dangerous of adventures tend to; and by way of red herrings.. My dad had three or four tape-cassettes that were, in different combinations, more-or-less permanently whirring in the hidden intestines of our car’s tape-deck, singing of strange and loud and happy and melancholy things.
Tracy Chapman’s debut; Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’; and Dire Straits’ ‘Sultans of Swing’. A particularly delightful and perplexing Simon song (incidentally, the title-track) contained three lines that will one day – excepting the second, which remains blurred – still occupy a fond nook in my epic memory, as I fade into Nextville on my deathbed,

“There’s a girl in New York City/ She calls herself the human trampoline/
[blah bla something….]/ “She says we’re Bouncing into Graceland..!”

Now, for all of the six boyish years in me, I could not fathom the venereal delight of those lines. Nevertheless, in my boymind with its tall colours, that trampoline was bright pink, and she was TV-blonde and they were both grinning loudly as they bounced ever higher. In some slowly gathering future synapse, a connection had been made, and was already foreshadowing my twin future passions.
A year or so later, on our drive to school (that dull beige trap!), my dad leaned his head back from his seat, and, in profile, said, by way of mysterious key to Mark Knopfler’s pending solo (yes, the playlist had grown, but the original three still ruled centre-stage), “Luister Mick, hy maak die kitaar huil..” (“Listen Mick, he’s making the guitar weep..”) Later yet, whilst tackling Jean M. Auel’s ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ (“One-thousand-one-hundred-and-sixteen pages!”, I would boast for a full year after), I happened onto the most occult and explicit sexual image, one that could not even have risen from the murkiest flames of a child’s fever dreams,
“He got impatient, pushed her down, and moved aside his wrap exposing his organism, thick and throbbing.”
Naturally, all reading here will identify the misprint which my early mind had projected – and for the longest time I tried to resolve this most obscure biological conundrum. But that was it – those twirling and thrashing herrings had drawn me into the mysterious depths of Word.
As with many millions of other infatuates, the final tug had been executed during my teenhood, by Mr. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. Flirting turned to heavy petting, via ‘Catch-22’ and ‘The Outsider’; and then the dizzy, awkward, blind leap of first penetration through Fowles’s labyrinthine Magus, and the psychedelic eloquence of ‘One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest’.. and now, and essentially, like that young French alchemist’s most popular epiphany.. I am tossed and heaved and silkily drawn and mist-seduced through those ever-plunging scapes of semantic possibilities furling and unfurling like God’s empassioned mystery of soul.
I leave you with a single gasp, winking from local poet Michelle McGrane’s lambent ‘She walks on water’:

“twin silver starfish lift a long skirt,
reveal pale knees, a cerulean scarf
flutters in the breeze. unseen
mercury eels seethe in her currents.
the moon is a gaping mouth.”

[First published by ITCH magazine]

June 7, 2012

Jan-Jan and the Fever Scapes.

Filed under: literature,mick raubenheimer — ABRAXAS @ 10:36 pm

There were strange, wobbling people trapped in the two-dimensional planes of the mall’s shiny shop windows. Diluted and warped spangles of people – a female dragging a spilling child; sprawling boyfriends panting; slanted businessmen walking their suitcases; huggles of tweens kissing into gaudy, Facebooked cells.
Jan-Jan knew it had been a bad idea.
“Dude this is a bad idea, the people in the windows are growing. And….. they’re fucking following us…” Jan-Jan attempted to whisper this into Koos’ ear but he’d lost his rhythm and ended up sinistering said information to a highly bemused house-mom of sorts. “Fuck shit sorry who are you!??” Koos plucked him back into trot.
“Dude they’re growing,” Jan-Jan offered to Koos, by way of thanks or apology or explanation. “Vesuvius,” Koos reminded Jan-Jan, his arched left eyebrow splicing into his forehead.
The mall was in full swing. Consumerist orgy.
It was three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. It was impossible.


Two hours before.

“Chill bra it’s gonna be quick. Quickin quixaut.”
“Dude I don’t even do malls when I’m slowber. This will not end well. I’ll die or expand into, like, somewhere and you’ll be stuck with the body having to explain to the mall cops and the customers with their Jet bags and my mom. My MOM dude. Explain to her.”
Koos rolled his talentedly rollable eyes. “He’s the only one who carries this stuff. 10 minutes tops, and you’re not That stoned. Chi-eeel.”
Jan-Jan nodded knowingly, into the middle distance of apprehension.

On Tuesday, January 13th 1987, Jan-Jan was four years old in the forest of legs and gleaming shoes and giant hands in Checkers somewhere in Kaarlfontein CBD. He had lost his mom but he didn’t know this yet. He awed at the shinily wrapped sweeties and the trousered legs and the mom legs and the dangling or swinging grownup hands; the occasional pram with its flailing occupant. He reached up and took his mom’s hand. The mom dress with its mom legs lowered into a friendly squat and introduced a smiling, not-Mom face. Jannietjie’s eyes grew larger than fearful. “Hello skat, wie is hierdie oulike kleintjie?” Another grownup face, male, joined not-Mom’s into his plane of vision, and chuckled.
“Wie is Hierrie meneertjie Susan? Ag kom ons hou hom.” The man roughly tousled Jannietjie’s petrified hair.
A bulge of tears was swelling the world out of focus.

Are you experiencing mild panic?

People were starting to notice them; them and their ‘Corn’ and ‘Anti-Chris’ tees. An ominous, horizontal dome of space took shape around them. The patrons of Westwood Mall were beginning to give them girth; were beginning to consciously, accusingly, walk around them. Jan-Jan’s face was bigger than normal and breathing in slow motion, on Imax.
“Fokken DRUGGIES,” someone hissed in passing.
“Yo amper daar bra.”
Jan-Jan detected specks of The Fear in Koos’ attempt at a casual aside.


Like fourteen buckets of the stuff.

Outside, on the roof of section D of Westwood Mall, a new bird was cleaning and inspecting its foreign wings. It was a subtle sui generis – there was nothing flashy to mark its difference. The other birds, however, did take note, eyeing it with beady fear. Keeping their distance. Twittering amongst themselves. The zombie throngs below did not notice. Not many an ornithologist frequented this particular haven of commerce.
The new bird concluded its cleaning session. Ruffled its fresh self. Focused its eyes on an aged pigeon ambling along a ledge some 50 meters away. The pigeon’s head snapped dully up. It started feverishly pecking at its own breast, a dull flurry of bits of feather and flecks of blood growing around it as its wings started dementedly flapping. In this fashion it stammered off the roof – a twitchy mess which plonked onto the roof of a metallic orange Corsa four storeys below.
All around the mall various birds took wing – pigeons and sparrows and robins and others all swirling up into elegant avian orbits, intertwining in shifting circles high above.
The only bird still hopping along the segmented roofs was the new one.

Damp Ills.

Behind the Pills counter of PHARMA-Con, Timothy (aka Vesuvius, aka Tim) stood looking at the lost people milling about the pharmacy’s starkly hygienic aisles, desperately seeking cures and anointments and chemical epiphanies – questing the soothing.
He wanted to hop over the counter and randomly hack into them with the rusty panga he had carefully hidden behind the upper shelf of Cyloscentia in the back. A bulge formed in the groin area of his neat white pants at the thought of their pointless alarm.
“Hi, Yes ma’m what can I do for you today?”


“Oh. My. Fuck.” Jan-Jan froze in mid-step. The ominous surroundings briefly melted away. Koos turned around. “It’s. The. Dude they have the new Ampersand!”
Koos knew what this meant. He was not angry. Disappointment did not slacken his face. He didn’t roll his rollable eyes. It was what it was.
“Okay go, but I’m collecting you in TEN MINUTES.”


It took Jan-Jan some long seconds to relocate the nerve to cross the threshold of Musique, the slightly-better-than-Musica cd store; currently pumping some kind of Madonna remixed with Technotronic trip.
He wades into the nightmare of people and shelves, struggles hisself to the nearest counter. Summons the nearest till clerk with glowing forefinger.
“Uhm can I, we, I mean can I listen to the new Ampersand?”
“No erm, just the. Erm..”
“And,” she smiles softly then turns around and walks away.
For a moment which expanded into dejection, then Fear, Jan-Jan realized that this female employee of Musique knew that he was stoned and subsequently disliked him. THEN he realized she was on her way to the manager’s office to call the police. Oh christfuck the police are probably already in there – she IS an undercover Cop!
She turned around and winked in a skyburst of sunny conspiracy. Jan-Jan expanded ticklish all over. The Goodness came over him. And she was about to present him with that mysterious new explosion, that vault of impossible valleys, Ampersand’s ‘New Opticons Astride’.
Jan-Jan’s body became a grin. He pretended to be normal.
This was physically, ontologically strenuous. Attempted to casually note and appreciate the gibberish of products and advertisements draped and bulging like so many neon-furred gargoyles behind the counter and everywhere. Then she was back.
“Oh you’re going to enjoy this.. pink-eyes.”
Her lips were built of yum. Jan-Jan’s eyes sank into them for a bit too long then he tried to smile at her knowing, blessed eyes and then remembered what was about to happen.
“Thanks Twinky,” he managed to purr (it felt like a purr); then initiated the ostensibly simple task of wrapping those nice big scruffy earphones over his question-mark ears with his nice big dumb paws.
Closed his eyes.


All the trees were in light.

For around 87 seconds Koos had been nodding amiably and shit-scared at the frightening assault of accusative and threatening and murderous faces encroaching his otherwise modest trek to shop 317 deeper and deeper and deeper into the mall’s indigestive cistern.
He waved a final ‘Fuck You’ to the circling demons as his legs warbled him into PHARMA-Con.


Easy now.

Jan-Jan’s heart was thumping in slow motion. Thumping pumping schlumping. Its deferred beats framed fantastical, polyphonic short stories and craning snapshots.
In this way his body – his warped rushes of blood – was conducting ‘New Opticons Astride’. With his eyes closed he closed his eyes. Thump. A secret creature was hunting a mole-sized doe, the doe was represented by some kind of flute slinkily slinking ahead of the keyboard/ synthesizer. The lunging and chomping flora crashing past was the bass swelling out of the drums. Thump. A blaring blue sky expands into a drop of squirming blood which hums with electric intent. Thump.
Then the lyrics arrived, and Jan-Jan recognized them.
“Child of gold come from stars away/ You brim with new eyes let them away/ Moonborn one who led the Maya/ to dams of gold ‘neath the lava/ You are come/You are come/ You are come”
Jan-Jan’s heart went numb. The earphones were lying in front of him on the listening booth’s panel. He was shaking his head in denial of this new Fate, his hands held up in supplication or surrender. Lisa/Twinky bounced over, frowning, “Yo, you okay?”
Jan-Jan turned around and tried to remember how to run. Shop 317 shop 317 shop 317.


And Gold was their blood and they drank it to burn the fire and they are return.

When Koos walked out of the bustling nightmare and into the whiteshone haven of PHARMA-Con a calm embraced him. The buzzing faded into gentle, far-off hiss. The place was teeming with geriatrics and blushing teens but all were gentled in clothing of soft colour and quiet design. Even their movements, vaguely indecisive, soothed.
He walked towards the counter in back. The white-clad figure hunched over to disentangle a prescription from its doctor’s arachnid writing straightened up at Koos’ approach. Vesuvius smiled in welcome.
Koos waved shyly, gratefully at the Keeper, and looked around to see that the pharmacy was now empty.
This should have alarmed Koos.

Way out.

Sinking steadily into his oneiric hell Jan-Jan’s urgent mantra ‘Shop 317 shop 317 shop 317’ became overwhelmed by a second voice, now out-clamoring the first. ‘Sunglasses. Must find sunglasses.’ He knew then that if he didn’t hide his terror and illegal eyes from the milling hounds he would be taken outside and destroyed.
Jan-Jan lurched into Edgars, bumped into the unimpressed security guard and almost toppled the Alarm Arcs. He smiled appallingly at the guard and gesticulated what he hoped would be interpreted as a casual apology, but sensed would rather translate as the hyperbolic twitches of a psychopath. He tried to find his way through the thickets of trousers and shirts and socks and patronizing mannequins. Then he was there. Rows of snobbish, unblinking shades. Camouflage! Safety! LIFE!!
When he walked back out – making sure to pass the security guard without undue physical contact – his frantic red eyes were replaced with unblinking, deep shade. Once outside Jan-Jan turned left and slammed fantastically into Koos. “Go. GO!”, Koos suggested from somewhere within the tangle of them. As they went through a kind of reverse epileptic fit separating one from the other, a serious looking 5-yr old held out Jan-Jan’s freshly acquired dark glasses to him. Jan-Jan smiled thanks and took them; winked amiably at the security guard who had followed the commotion outside; nodded at Koos. “Alright, let’s go.”
Outside the mall the birds had ascended to the height of 2 km’s and had synchronized their flights into a perfect, unsmiling circle. The new bird was still on the roof, hopping from crumb to pebble.

When Jan-Jan and Koos exited the colossal labyrinth the bird hopped onto a ledge, peered down. Studied them, turning its head from this side to that, in the manner of the curious.
Inside the car Squarepusher’s Big Loada lent counterpoint to Koos’ relating of Vesuvius’ psychedelic instructions while Jan-Jan daydreamed of exotic jungles bleeding gold, and covert extraterrestrial influence on the vast majesties of pre-Western civilizations.
Trailing the car, unnoted, was a lone bird with ancient gleams for eyes.


May 18, 2012

Witchboy’s Sonicosmic Seduction: Apocalipstick.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music,nikhil singh,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 10:19 pm

The frighteningly gifted and unfairly productive entity best known as Nikhil Singh – writer, reviewer, illustrator, tarot deck manifester, cult Rock demi-god, and all round creature from elsewhere – has just released his alter-ego Witchboy’s soundtrack to the digital apocalypse, prettily entitled ‘Apocalipstick’.

A frantic, fractured, candy-cracked thing, ‘Apocalipstick’ is Singh’s 2nd full-length venture into digital music, following a mere coupla months on the heels of debut ‘Hollymode’. Wouldn’t think it to hear it though. The sonics are as minutely detailed as Oval’s epic cascades, and as trixy limbed as Autechre’s quantum physics.

‘Apocalipstick’ is gorgeously layered, which is not to say it is smooth going. Witchboy knows that whitenoise is the matrix onto which temporary structures like technology and intelligence are briefly projected; that the seemingly organized and structured are mere whispers in an ocean of chaos and seething Otherness. His electronic compositions neatly mirror the fizzle and hiss and binary shudders Inside electricity – the cough and splutter that is ENERGY.

Fans of Singh’s real-time music via The Wild Eyes and solo ‘Pressed up Black’ album will also delight in the occasional flicker of guitar, bass and drums, and the new line of haunted tales and bewitched characters.

A thrilling musical inquisition, and currently available to listen to, or purchase in various audio formats, at http://baku-shad-do.bandcamp.com/album/apocalipstick.


May 12, 2012

Spoek Mathambo: Father Creeper.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 11:09 am

Dark Grooves. The Spoek Mathambo band is Can’t-Stand-Still rhythmic. It whispers motion into your bones. Dark dance music concocted of Funk Rock instrumentation and Elsewhere syncopation, Spoek Mathambo’s is not the groove of escapism or flights of sunshine. It is the groove of survival, of persevering in the face of a corrupt, decadent world.

Following the delightful and profanely neon excesses of previous outfits Sweat.X and Playdoe, the hushed beats and ghosted melodies of first solo outing ‘Mshini Wam’ was confounding. What we didn’t know was that this was Mathambo for the first time approaching his own sound. “Some tracks on ‘Mshini Wam’ and ‘Father Creeper’ were written in the Sweat.X days. Obviously they wouldn’t work in that project, so it was great to finally give them life,” notes Spoek.

‘Father Creeper’, and, most crucially, Spoek’s current circle of conspirators, sees said Spoek Mathambo sound finding potent fruition. Contrary to the popular platitude, there are new things under the sun. This. Is one of the more rewarding ones. Deeply recommended.

mick raubenheimer

April 18, 2012

mick raubenheimer on aryan kaganof

Filed under: kagagallery,kaganof,mick raubenheimer — ABRAXAS @ 6:57 pm

November 7, 2011

Classic Albums. Zappa. Joe’s Garage.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music — ABRAXAS @ 10:35 pm

I’ll never forget the first time I heard the music of that Comic Rock guy Frank Zappa. At the time I was shoulder-deep in garage band bliss (‘Wiener Type Person’ thank you very much, in case you hadn’t heard of us,) and eagerly plowing through the Rock Canon of years yonder.

For some reason I’d always skipped the opportunity to listen to Zappa’s stuff. Look, the guy had an enviable moustache-thingie going and it was kinda cool that they’d named a flammable liquour after him (Okay I’d Assumed it was named after him, and I was a kid okay – Zappa Sambuca was The Shit; more importantly, chicks loved seeing it drop down your gullet all saccharine fire,) but he did look a bit like Weird Al Yankovic, which kinda sucked.. Then my best-buddy-in-the-world-at-the-time played us some songs after rehearsal. Two-and-a-half songs at the back-end of a cassette otherwise consisting of Mudhoney and early Soundgarden.

The first song [‘Peaches en Regalia’ – Hot Rats] should have been uncool – kinda Circus-music-played-on-tinny-Classical-instrumentsy – but something about the curious twists in the composition perked my young ears. The second track was more of a song a-proper. A funny tune about some Eskimo kid taking revenge on a seal hunter [‘Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow’ – Apostrophe’]. The song made us giggle (and frown – “Is Rock music Allowed to be funny?”) And then – out of the blue – a blind barrage of solo guitar, about three seconds long. Our jaws dropped. We rewound. Our jaws dropped again. I was never quite the same.

A year later I owned around a dozen Zappa albums, and my Grunge and Rock collection was mysteriously being replaced by experimental Jazz and WARP Electronica.

Lyrics exist for those who need them.

Nowadays – aside from the handful of annual Zappa fests – most of his music is performed by internationally acclaimed Classical ensembles. A 4-metre high bust of the man overlooks a park somewhere in post-Communist Lithuania. Following Zappa’s death in 1993, American vice president Al Gore (of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ fame) sent a letter of commiseration to his wife Gail. Quite the hullabaloo for a man most remember as a 70’s Rock musician who wrote funny and crude novelty songs.
Sculpting around 70 albums over the course of a 28-year career, Zappa’s music is inexhaustibly diverse, and unmatched for sheer originality. Informed by a wacky pallette ranging from 50’s Doo-Wop and Rhythm & Blues to the avant-garde experiments of composers like Stravinsky and Varese’, Zappa concocted a heterogenous signature that is instantly recogniseable despite the wild diversity of his compositions.

Don’t you boys know any Nice songs?

‘Joe’s Garage’, his 1979 concept-album, is a musical tour-de-force. It explores a dystopian future where Music and other perversions like free thought and sensuality have been banned because, well, they disrupt the efficiency of the carefully groomed workforce (otherwise known as society). The album’s narrative follows a by now familiar Orwellian arc: Naive hero Joe shrugs off Society’s prescriptions and, instead of joining the grotesquely bland assembly-line on offer, starts a band and tries to get a girlfriend. Oops.
Zappa being Zappa, the superficially formulaic storyline careens and swells to explore and poke fun at such phenomena as Scientology; the intrinsic contradiction of music journalism; the abject nature of Wet T-shirt contests; the melodramatic highs and lows of starting a band; pornographic robots; and the evils of selling your soul.
Instrumentally ‘Joe’s Garage’ teems with wonder – from the impossible time-signatures of ‘Keep it Greasy’ to the off-kilter Rock splendour of ‘Why does it hurt when I pee?’; from mutant Funk and Venutian Jazz to the melancholic, grandiose eloquence of guitar solos ‘He Used To Cut The Grass’; ‘On the Bus’ and ‘Watermelon in Easter Hay’ (the latter one of the most affecting pieces ever executed on six strings).
A great introduction into the quantum sonics of one of the 20th century’s greatest composers, and one of humankind’s most fierce and eloquent defenders of free speech and individualism.

[first published in Muse magazine]

October 23, 2011

The Fourth Window.

Filed under: literature,mick raubenheimer — ABRAXAS @ 9:18 pm

Chapter one: Time.

“Jesus Christ,” Jan-Jan muttered to himself.
The situation. It was beginning to dawn on him. The situation in all its grotesque mass and writhing, nuclear omens was beginning to explode into view.
“Fok it.”

Concise and explicit as Jan-Jan’s economic little conversations-with-self were, they were drowned out by the wider environs and their own little chit-chats, which happened to be going on ALL THE TIME, 25/7, in seemingly total disregard for theme or target audience, or neighbourly volume for that matter.
The wider environments were the electric faunal and floral super- and sub- and fucking OMNI-strata of Caracas, somewhere in the hyper-dense tropica of the northern tip of the Amazon, where Jan-Jan currently found himself.

‘Loud’ is a verb down here. A promiscuous little fucker too, with a synaesthetic family tree of grammar sprawling around it.
There is the loud of sudden, crunching proximity; the loud of the silent three-inch mosquito hybrid or proto-type or mutant suckling your interior via left thigh; the loud of self-startling, hyper-momentumed violence. There is the loud, slurping texture of black water; of sweat-stung blinking; of internal monologues frizzing into the external caw-caws and scritch-screeches and yelps and howls and Roar of the jungle’s insect kingdoms. There is the loud of satanically swift poison zooming through your arterial grids following the gaudy viper’s lightning strike. The traditional loud of human shrieks scrambling away from the paranoid locus of the jaguar’s purr.

There’s the veiled loud of gangrene supping on your calf – settling down for brunch before sidling north for the more generous bioscapes of your thigh; the talentedly fatty musculature of your ass; the delirium of biological history waiting to be inspected one chomp at a time in your already sweating intestines; the utopian splendour of your upper body.

There is the loud of gurgling, temperature-infested air.

Jan-Jan wasn’t in the actual jungle yet. Not yet. The camp was precariously perched half a kilometer from the black fronds of its beckoning perimeter, which was already tugging at the weak flaps of their tents. Already buzzing in their minds.
“Jissus,” Jan-Jan concluded, then turned to regard the perturbing calm of Luang’s face; its serenely slumped eyelids. Doos.

“Yes.” Luang enquired. Jan-Jan rolled his eyes, crushed the baby mozzie coyly fucking his forearm with well-hung probuscus, rump already visibly swelling.
“So what’s the, err.. routine going to be? Where is this place exactly?”
Luang’s lips distended themselves into one of those smiles you wish you hadn’t been privy to.

“Patient. You are weak patients.”

Jan-Jan hated these camouflaged little ‘conversations’ with Luang, their so-called ‘guide’ on this already fucked up so-called ‘illumination camp’.
Three days before he was lying on his back smoking a spliff on the roof while Jen was smoking his joint. The stars were epic – pulsating with delicious, benevolent energies. Glowing with reassuring messages of unknowable origin. Sparkly little ciphers of the bounty of God.

He let his left hand feel blindly, trustingly through the naked night air until it found her mesmerically bobbing head. Splayed his tickling fingers into the rich tussles of her hair.
He could smell those tussles through his finger-tips.
Her bobbing rhythm increased in hunger while his eyes grinned up at the stars grinning back. He playfully clenched and unclenched fistfuls of her hair, distributing erogenous pulses through her scalp, in turn feeding the already near-intolerable sensitivity of her lips; their yearning voluptuousness already gouged by the subtle scent and sleek texture of his pre-cum.
His right hand, clutching the spliff, began stuttering away from his mouth, casting zig-zagging, minutely exploding embers into the black.
The stars careened in HD slow mo.

Jan-Jan slapped something on his face and stood up, having successfully overruled the urge to throttle Luang. He looked around at their tattered little camp. Smudged beige tents dozing cross-legged; flaps flapping morosely in the mobile heat.
The tents were arranged in an infant’s notion of a semi-circle, in the vague centre of which three quaintly loin-clothed Indians and Tim were apparently laying down the complex foundations of some future campfire or Aztec skyscraper. To this image’s left, about a dozen meters or so from the closest tent, sat the portable water tank, in whose comforting presence Jo – the ambiguously flirtatious 40-something Aussie – and her doubly fuckable daughter Ninette were huddled, audience to the babbling Capetonian whose name we hadn’t yet bothered to note.

The party comprised another five or so hitherto un-illumined folk, including the obligatory Americans; a twenty-something Rwandan; and a stray – or at any rate hopelessly late – British scientist/academic. Then there was Luang, the Mexican guide, director of this humid little spiritual soiree, and his helpers – 6 aboriginal Indians. The behind-the-scenes staff. Fucking ‘Survivor: Season 817’.

Still deciding which direction boded the least excruciation, Jan-Jan noticed Tim’s bright, expectant half-wave.
He inhaled deeply. Closed his eyes.


“Yeah but dude it’s fucking time. It’s fucking Time bra..”

“.. Mm. So, what. What you’re saying this shit is what? Like..”

“It’s the fucking interstice, the INTERSECTION between peyote and those fucking mushrooms Huxley was on about. Dude the fucking place itself is a trip – a living, breathing psychotrope. And it’s practically free. The schmuck’s already paid the deposit which was like what Joe? Yeah exactly – 85 percent of the trip, no pun intended. You’re basically paying for the return flight. With the 15% that’s, what. Dude it’s like R4000. Which you have.”

A rectangle of sunlight, bright on the tiled floor, embroidered in blazing curliques of dazed whites and golden golds, intensified in glow.

Jen kissed him on the shoulder, letting her lips linger there a wide moment. Then pecked him in the neck with a moist smack before getting up.
“Alright future mystics who wants a glass of dry?”
Jan-Jan nodded distractedly, “Yeah thanks Hiney. Okay what the fuck. We only live, what how many times do we only live Joe..?”
The three chuckled happily, contentedly, trading glances which sparkled with the kind of supple codes established over years of friendship.

Jan-Jan grinned over his shoulder at Jen, who smiled back without looking at him while she finished pouring the glasses.
It was time.

Chapter 2: Sweat.

The place was like Durban tripping on steroids; in a sauna.
Jan-Jan blinked; gasped his way out of his pool of sleep. Slip-slid out of his tent.
The stars were blurred, swimming in the blacklit cosmogeny.
He wiped his eyes.

They were bright – very different to the bright they flaunted from African skies, but bright. As his other senses resumed exterior orientation the ceaseless poly-symphony of the Amazon slid up the volume.
A rupturing squawk or silenced roar flinched his head to the side, where beyond the dull haunt of Jo and Ninette’s tent a span of coiled dark waved at him, smiling.

“You up huh?”
Jan-Jan climbed the sky: “Fuckn Jee-sus Christ whatheFuck??” he snarled at Tim, by way of response.
“Fucking shat myself there..”
Then, spotting the lit cigarette, “give us a pull?”
American Tim frowned, then translated the foreign request via Jan-Jan’s motioning v-sign.
“Ah. Sure..”
Jan-Jan took a deep drag – tasted like Marlboro filter but darker; too dark to see.

“Had enough of a dip?”
Jan-Jan scowled and shrugged sharply to indicate that the question made no sense.
Tim smiled:
“In Tuahanan the word for sleep, ‘tehank’, also means to submerge oneself; to swim. Presumably to do with the humidity, and nocturnal consciou..”
They both spun around. “What the fuck?”
Saw the aquatic flickering of approaching flame, which became the terrestrial sputtering of a torch as their respective heart-rates eased back down.

Luang beckoned to them, the torch splashing his face with writhing black shapes; his smile twitching from grin to grimace to snarl and back.
“Ag Kak,” Jan-Jan muttered.
The American understood exactly.

They followed Luang’s receding self into the fronds of ink.


Stepping into the Actual jungle – crossing the hazy boundary between nearly jungle and Jungle – was a sonorous event.
Like stepping into water.
It’s all around you.
Inside the ominous, priapic biome Luang’s form was no longer a visual creature – they followed his Sound.


After what felt like an hour of teeth-clenched stumbling, muffled cursing through bulbous, thorned shadow and swell, the two stuttered into a moonshone clearing. Luang or said’s demonic impostor already seated in its grey-rippled centre.
Facing them.
He indicated to them to follow suit; raising a patient, stern forefinger when Tim opened his mouth.
The two looked at each other in mutual plea; then reciprocal apology; then sat down cross-legged.
Luang, the torch rooted in the soil beside him, removed a pouch from behind his tunic, poured its contents into his right palm. Nodded at them to offer theirs.
Jan-Jan was feeling what could be euphemistically described as skittish by now, but extended his hand, palm up.

When Luang lifted his hand to his mouth and swallowed the substance they raised theirs to do the same, but froze when the ageless Mexican shook his head.
“First. Sea elf inside.
See image of self, Inside”, he tapped his head with his forefinger.
“INSIDE. See young self. Boy.”

Then they swallowed.

Jan-Jan was sitting in their favoured nook; behind the second wave of sand-dunes. The air smelt of them. Jen smiled at him with passionate fondness. She wiggled her toes in his face. She lifted her mini-T, flashing him, then stood up and took it off, throwing it to the side, giggling and spinning in nipple-orbited circles.
All was sky blues and bright smudge and dazzling dunes and the rising scent of surf. He clapped his hands and
the dark crouched closer.
He shook his head violently and she was whirring around him, clutching his centrifugal hands; but she blinked and he was inside her, a voluptual pressure gaining wild momentum – her ecstatic cries drowning out the impossibly serene skies and

the dark was beating at his face and

he opened his eyes. He was sitting in immaculate white space. He looked down at his crossed legs and they were not there; he held out his arms and they were gone. He felt for his chest and face but there was nothing. Frantic now he turned his memory of head to the side and the motion slipped into vacuum and would not stop and

Jan-Jan blinked and let out a cry which rushed back at him in the form of a moonlit clearing surrounded by. Stark, squirming dark, glowing through an effervescent orgy of vines and jungle-roots and he staggered to his feet and the torch was still planted in the ground; dead but smoking.
There was no sign of the other two and without cue the silence flexed into menacing distortion all around the clearing. Alien sounds crackling with the crude textures of imminent danger. He looked up and the sky was swirling black and gold and loud.

Chapter 3: I drink of you.

When Jan-Jan opened his eyes he was lying in a sphere of stars; perfectly static stars which were individually connected to his body via miniscule pressure indentations.
He flexed his right arm and shoulder in an attempt to sit up and an obscurely corresponding area of stars blinked in response. He closed his eyes and the stars were inside him, only now they were pinpoint-sized suns. When he inhaled the suns swelled into minute, fiery rings.
Then the suns and stars fell away and a perfect darkness consummated him. The distinction between open and shut eyes was gone – stasis and movement and position were as if as-yet-unimagined states.

“We drink of you.”

An aural, enfleshed blur tugged his eyes back into awareness; his body arched back into slow sensation. As the blurs swirled into distinct hues, then misted forms, his most innate memory came to, and his body’s outlines snapped into focus.
He was lying on a flat, cold surface.
Thin tubes were attached to various parts of his body in symmetric design. The tubes led to the puckered mouths of six human forms dispersed around him; three tubes to a mouth.
In mute horror he followed the flush of dully paroxyzing sensation at his centre and saw a figure knelt between his shuddering thighs, sucking on his erection.

The figures started twitching as he screamed at zero decibel, and his entirety was racked by a violent ecstasy of expansion.


Jan-Jan moaned and opened slow eyes to see Jen wiping at her mouth, eyes glowing,

“I was drinking of you
You still tripping babe?”, she giggled bubbly, “So am I, look..”

She pinches her left nipple then her right; opens her mouth in morose pleasure,

“I’m tickling the stars.
Happy New Year, little dragon.”

The bed was cool. Ruffled, with smooth linen.

August 29, 2011

Frank Zappa on Crossfire

Filed under: censorship,mick raubenheimer,music,politics — ABRAXAS @ 2:42 pm

Part 1 – Frank Zappa at PMRC Senate Hearing on Rock Lyrics

July 26, 2011

I climb out of your air.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 9:02 am

Freshly kissed and fondled, nicked and coated by a dozen bold poison
welts and contusions and bright flame

my derma glows with itchy and flushed rebirth

(a phoenix of littler deaths)

as I emerge still drunk and dazzled from our concentrate season of violent, brash discoveries -
leaping too hungrily

(gasp of blind faith!)

over cliffs and into

strange trees humming with dangers and delights and

tumbled and rolled and tickled and squirmed and

thrust and snortle-howled like

children born of incurable laughters
I scratch quickly here

inspect amorous swellings there
- the generous snarls of your fingers -
and patiently


swell with new futures

impossible thirsts!

July 23, 2011

frank zappa – amnerika

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,music — ABRAXAS @ 10:04 pm

July 21, 2011

Nippled brimstone.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,sex — ABRAXAS @ 10:43 pm

Father? Is it wrong that I

want to split her

in tway?


If she wants it too?




begging the bursting?


Her various operas of


the very air

into erogeny?

mick raubenheimer reviews michelle mcgrane’s “the suitable girl”

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,poetry,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 12:41 pm

The Suitable Girl – Michelle McGrane
[PinDrop Press, UK]

In ‘The Suitable Girl’, her third collection, local poet Michelle McGrane unveils a graceful feast of language and storytelling. In its rich atmosphere the world she has woven into presence swells with keenly detailed variety – here are mischievous confessions whispered by inanimate objects; postcards penned by astronauts in hyper-exotic vistas; the stark and tender emotions of everyday domestic transactions; here the charged halos and musks of infatuation; liberating voices lent to famously mute literary characters; the humble ecstacies of the olfactorial and palatic.

On first inhaling, rapt, this collection’s 51 pages, one is entranced above all by the language, or rather, the special thrill of language it imparts – the alchemic wonder that sound and texture and rhythm can communicate, can capture, experience. It is during a second and a third and fourth reading that one is struck by the virtuosity of range ‘The Suitable Girl’ contains.

McGrane’s talent with words is akin to the luminous magnification a sympathetic varnish brings to already beautiful wood. Elegance and potency are wed in this poet’s fingers, in her sense.

Available locally through leading book-stores and Kalahari.net

[First published in Rootz Africa magazine]

Craning time.

Filed under: mick raubenheimer,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 12:33 pm


a Jurassic breeze


floric lawns

while we


the ceremony of skin..

July 20, 2011


Filed under: mick raubenheimer,poetry,sex — ABRAXAS @ 8:59 pm

I was reading

The Ecstatic Jungle

the other day,

couldn’t finish it

Too many

of the words

smelt of you

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