“Ukuvaleka” by Dejot, Robin Thirdfloor & Tshepang Ramoba
This project is supported through the Confluences open call, aimed at supporting a shared space for collaboration, creation, and documentation of new work between musicians who have an existing creative relationship.
“Ukuvaleka” is a collaborative project by Swiss producer Dejot and South African musicians Robin Thirdfloor and Tshepang Ramoba. Dejot and Robin have known each other as collaborators since 2016, when they met during Dejot’s residency in Johannesburg and began working on what would became Robin’s album “Bhotela”. For their current project, which will take place between January and April 2023, the artists will develop new material through an iterative process of relays and exchanges.
The process will begin with Robin writing and recording lyrics and stories inspired by life as a musician during the pandemic. He will share these drafts and recordings of places and spaces related to the stories with Dejot, who will then remix these lyrics and recordings in a playful way, deconstructing and collaging them and to create songs. Alongside this Dejot will create beats and structures to serve as a musical basis. The material will then pass to Tshepang Ramoba, who will create midi drum patterns, overdub beats and record additional musical ideas. The material will then revert back to Dejot to build demo songs, before returning to Robin to write final lyrics.
Simphiwe Nyawose, popularly known as Robin Thirdfloor is an alternative hip hop musician based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Robin has toured nationally and internationally (America and Europe) showcasing his eclectic hip hop sound which fuses South African genres like gqom, kwaito and umbhaqanga. He has worked with the likes of Moonchild Sanelly, DJ Tira, Youngsta CPT, DJ Cable, Morena Leraba and Easy Freak.
Dejot aka Daniel Jakob (akaDubokaj) is a Swiss electronic music producer and film composer based in the city of Bern. He has been steadily producing music since the 90s, collaborating with the likes of Lee Scratch Perry, Yello, Nicolette, Bongeziwe Mabandla etc. He also remixed songs for artists such as Imogen Heap, Pressure Drop, Dawn Penn, Bonaparte etc. Between 2002 and 2014 he was producer of famous laptop street busking and dub influenced electronic act Filewile. In 2017, he was nominated for the prestigious Prix Europa (in Radio Music) for a podcast on Gqom entitled Gqom Edits–Durban Visit, made in collaboration with Thomas Burkhalter of Norient and Marcel Gschwend (aka Bit-Tuner). His scores appeared in awarded feature films: Das Fräulein, Slumming, On The Line, Kameramörder. Jakob is also the co-owner of Swiss boutique label Mouthwatering Records.
Tshepang Ramoba is a drummer, vocalist, producer and film music supervisor from Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a member of the alternative band BLKJKS. Tshepang studied toward a diploma in African Music and Jazz at FUBA and also completed a diploma in sound engineering from the same institution. Tshepang abandoned his post graduate music studies at TUT when his band BLK JKS embarked on their first world tour. His career highlights include being voted Best Musician by Billboard at the SXSW festival in Texas, winning the SAMA for Best Alternative album as a part of BLK JKS and doing a collaborative performance with Alicia Keys for the world cup opening concert. He has also played alongside The Roots.