The Return Of The Skyt Muties



Skyt Muties have their roots in the alternative music scene of Joburg in the late 80s, and consist of Andrew Kay on bass and vocals, Dave Pickover on drums and Charles Grass on guitar.


The band formed in the wake left by the demise of Andrew’s glam-rock trash band the Party Dolls following a near-fatal motorbike accident that put him in hospital and  left him out of action for a few months.  Once he was back on his feet he worked in the props department on the Bles Bridges movie, and soon after, was approached by Dave Pickover and Stephen de Swardt to form a band. They used as their base of operations Stephen’s house on a farm outside Potchefstroom, where they would jam on weekends, and turn the volume up to 11.

“The Muties always had a BIG sound, as Stephen was partially deaf, so in order for him to hear anything we had to play really loud.  Add to this Dave is a big lad, who knew only one way to play drums, and that was to pound the skins with all his might.  Stephen was also in the business of making PA speakers, so we had an inside track to getting the gear we needed to play at top volume. I wanted our music to have a hard, industrial edge, which I felt should reflect the state of the nation at the time. Fashionable music had become soft, and I had this vision of a musical explosion in my head.”


Thus the Muties were born, the name taken from a character in 2000 AD, the pooular sci-fi comic that was best known for creating the character of Judge Dredd.  The comic had at its core a humorously apocalyptic vision, and in one of the stories a mutant called Feral (half dog half human), a particularly rebellious mutant youth, had emblazoned on his T-shirt “Skate Muties” as he was a skater.  Andrew adapted the name to take on the meaning of Skyt, as in a low-class South African male of questionable character.  Andrew’s vision of SA was tempered by the vision in the comic, and this influenced the writing and early sound of the Muties.  Andrew was also heavily influenced by the writing and songs of Jonathan Handley of the Radio Rats. In songs like 9mil, which have survived to this day and remain a firm crowd favourite, a gritty sci-fi edge posits the anti-hero in an uber violent, sexist and racist context, a comic-book portrayal of characters that were all too real in South Africa at the time, and naturally who remain so in the new, Democratic dispensation.


The Muties literally exploded onto the Joburg scene with a triumphant show at one of the Merv the Swerv events at Jamesons in 1989, that had on its bill the Genuines, the Dyslexics and the Unhinged, as well as many other great bands on the scene at the time.

“For some reason the Genuines decided to play a jazzy set that was laid back, and when we hit the stage, all hell literally broke loose,” remembers Kay.  “It was incredible, chairs flying and a mosh pit that included the whole club, this mass of heaving humanity, sort of all screaming together as the Muties provided the soundtrack to a catharsis that was evidently in great need by the audience at the time.  I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before or since.”


Sadly, The Muties disbanded on Andrew’s artistic exile to Britian in the early 90s. “I had to leave as everything was freaking me out, I couldn’t take the hatred and violence anymore, and although our songs were violent, the Muties were definitely a peaceable band.  We incorporated aspects of flower power into our apocalyptic vision, if you can picture such a thing.”


One could argue an early and tenuous link to sci-fi films such as District 9 and naturally the phenomenon that is Die Antwoord, who have expanded on the theme to a far greater depth. The Muties never limited themselves to the sci-fi angle, though and on Andrew’s return to the Beloved Country in the mid 90s The Muties reformed briefly.  Andrew had taken up musical studies full time at the Wits School of Music, and had signed to peermusic SA, who fronted the money for a recording that became “unto Thine Own Self Be Cool”, five tracks recorded at Willem Moller’s Sharp Street studios. The writing is upbeat, melodic, catchy and carefree, a world away from the apocalyptic vision that was 9 mil, and also is a testament to the times in as much as the New SA was itself going through a honeymoon period of transformation during which so many positives seemed possible.


Gallo records showed interest in signing the band on the strength of the EP, and began negotiating on a deal with the Muties, which for various reasons never materialised, not the least being the band disbanded once more. Just before that happened though,  the Muties recorded a number of tracks at Sharp Street with Willem Moller once again at the helm.  Andrew is in contact with Willem at the present time, and who has so far unearthed a total of seven Muties tracks from the vaults, which will become the backbone of that first Muties album.


In the meantime Stephen de Swardt has tragically passed away, but after Dave contacted Andrew in 2012 and posted Unto Thine Own Self Be Cool on Youtube, it was decided to reform the Muties once more, and rope in the services of Charles Grass, with whom Andrew had worked in 2012 under the name AK and the 47s.


The Muties’ first gig is happening in Joburg on the 31st of October, literally 13 days before Andrew’s 50th birthday.  The band is rehearsing the material off the EP, including 9 mil, and will showcase some more recent material that is more acoustically oriented, but which contains the characteristic bite and melody of the Muties of old.  Thus far the Muties are also booked to be performing a New Year’s Eve bash in Estcourt, organised by Andi Grannersberger, a long-time friend of the Muties, and who recently pulled off a great musical weekend at Zingela Lodge.


For more info contact Andrew Kay on 082 456 2726, or email him at  Google Skyt Muties Unto Thine Own Self Be Cool to listen to those earlier Muties tracks.


You can hear tracks from Skyt Muties and a rare Party Dolls track on the NBTMusicRadio all over the 24 hour stream but specially during the 7 PM and 11 PM Berlin time slots
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The NBTMusicRadio Fantastic Themed Hours THREE :”Comfort In the Turbulent World”

”Comfort In the Turbulent World”

11 PM Berlin Time ( 10 PM UK/5 PM New York)


10 PM California Time ( 1 AM New York) For our USA/Canadian Listeners.

Bring the disturbance home! due to many requests to have the hard rock section a little earlier for our European audiences, and a little later for our USA listeners, we have joined together the ”Comfort in a hard place” and ”More Fun In the Turbulent World” in a marriage of much anticipated excitement and organised chaos!

So now its not JUST Rock of the HARD variety, there will be PUNK on all its deviant forms and ages, METAL from the darkest dark to the sweetest pop edge,there will be INDUSTRIAL, a slice of GOTHIC, and a big scoop of PROG. there will also be a smattering of BritPoP just to liven things up.

please note: in this incredibly eclectic category more than any other; i get so many new bands every week, so the line up will CONSTANTLY be changing, shape -shifting, evolving, so If you dont hear your heroes one night you will be sure to hear them the next. but PLEASE do support all our indie bands, as they share the stage with the more famous makers of this noisy art.

Oh and finally broad minds are available at the entrance, dont come in without them :)

Featured (in no particular order)

Stiff Little Fingers, Voice Of Addiction, Hawthorne Project, These New Puritans, The Jam, Black Flag, IceAge, The Eversons, Thee Now Sound, Tokyo Police Club, Big Dipper, Shonen Knife, These Animal Men, Pylon, Interpol, Ty Segall Band, Revel 9, AeB,Eudora Fletcher, Mos Generator, Crawley, Odoghan,Baht, Shattered Destiny, Kill For Eden, The Mighty High, Dropbunny, The 31st Of February, Elizabeth, Title Fight, Love Of Diagrams, The Ruts, Be Your Own Pet, Echobelly, At The Drive In, Link Wray, St J and Rici Martins, Spartan, Grenouer, American Head Charge, Godard, Jai Alai Savant, My Talking Pua, Test Icicles, Wire, Deep Purple, Grifter, Pulled Apart By Horses, Gun Outfit, M185, Sweet Ray Laurel, American Head Charge, The Monks, Late Cambrian, Spizzenergi, Felt, Monochrome Set, Honeymoon Killers, Orange Juice, The Wild Eyes,Ulterior, Eternal Summers, male Bonding, Soft Pack, Dutch Uncles, Buzzcocks, Violent Femmes, Kill Kasper, Mammut, War On Drugs, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Afghan Whigs, Vaccines, Thirteenth Floor Elevators, S.C.U.M. Swell Maps, Stone Iris, Yuck, The Replacements, Dogs Bollocks,Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Phoenix, Sonic Youth, D.U.N.E., Bruiser, Moist, Fen, MaHA Rocks, Carta Marina, Reverend Horton Heat, The Simpletone, The Cooper Temple Clause, Akarusa Yami, The Black Keys, Heavy Pink, Motorhead, screaming Trees, Skyskratcher, Blue Cheer, Ministry, Deftones, Alice Cooper.
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The NBT Review 122

Send Me Home – Jaspar Lepak (Independent Release)

This Review by Helge Janssen

The voice opens and draws you in, it soars and takes you with it, it dips and saddens, lilts and widens…..and you suddenly find yourself on the Jaspar Lepak flight:
an inspirational wing across a world landscape as broad as it is deep, as beautiful as it is dark, as light as it is sorrowful. It twists and turns, swings and rhythms, rocks you shakes you….but the beauty never leaves you: a mesmerising combination of the utterly
angelic with the tender pique of hard earned experience. This integration gives a weight to her being, to her presence, with a gravitas that is yet born with ease and is deceptively uncomplicated.
Jaspar is thus immediately accessible to a wide range of listeners, and while her genre is firmly rooted in ‘country and western’
there are elements of folk, rock and blues.

And her words paint fluid pictures –

send me home:

“…I lost my
light, I lost my light
don’t know when I let it go dim
my spirit cries out
my spirit cries loud
I’m sadder in any church
I feel better in any crowd….”


“…and you carry your dreams on a million pots of coffee
and your hands can’t find nothing more to hold….”

to pieces:

“…every night we prayed to Jesus
while we told each other lies..”

america the beautiful: this is Jaspar’s foray into a view of her country that looks through the veil of the american dream extremely
poignantly and, in my view, most accurately yet with compassion – and it appropriately takes the form of a lullaby –

“Is their dark inside your spirit?
Are you far down in the well?
Don’t you worry little darling
Love will come and break the spell…
But love won’t come on a white horse
little darling love will come
not just for you but for the masses
who have faces everyone…”

Every track holds a memory in a sacred place and is indelible.

In sum “Send Me Home” while originating/germinating within everyday experience, crosses into the metaphorical – searching, discovering, and claiming the inner journey towards ‘self’. In this sense Jaspar carries the cresset of an established musical tradition that bears the flame of wakefulness. Thus it is that new discoveries of meaning await with each replaying.

And replay it I do!

The production of this album is excellent. The harmonies within the backing vocals (Andy Thompson, Rachel Van Scoy, Kale Lepak, Mother Banjo and Kim Bahmer on specific tracks) are always inventive with an intuitive spontaneity that lends an immediacy that never fades no matter how many times you hear them. The wonderful use of the accordion (Kale Lepak) and the array of backing instruments (Andy Thompson) lends subtlety and distinction.

“Send Me Home” has been expertly produced, recorded and mixed by Andy Thompson at his home in Minneapolis. The track “Minneapolis’ was recorded by Jaspar at her Durban home!

“Send me home” is an exceptional album. Get it. Listen to it. Be amazed.
You can buy the album from Jaspar herself as she performs in and around Durban at regular intervals. Avail yourself of this opportunity to hear her live before she returns to Minneapolis. And be amazed.

You will be able to hear trax from this album within next weeks Podcast and spread around the NBTMusic Radio as well !

The NBT Podcast Archives 1

due to the fact that the NBT Flagship Podcast has left its old home and made a place for itself right here on WordPress a gentle archive movement has begun. Downloads only for the time being. Starting with the last show hosted by Libsyn and the 2010 Wonderful Ones Broadcast.

The NBT Wonderful Ones 201o

(right click and save as)


rare live recordings, cool covers, acoustic takes, specially recorded songs for the show


Richard Kapp  Bill Price Dark Lily, Sarathan/Two Loons for Tea, Danika Holmes Tokyo Rosenthal,

Richie Lawrence 88 Kilos Of Sunshine, Marco Mahler Frequency Theatre, Pollyanna  Aaron English  Small City Calling

Ripple Music Mach Fox Tori Sparks Ruth Minnikin Peter Doran Adventure Spirit

Rebecca Turner Bird Eats Baby Merry Ellen Kirk Carta Marina Elika

Legendary Ten Seconds iCON Orange One Count To Fire.

Read about the artists HERE


(right click and save as)



Small City Calling

Brian Lee


Chainsaw Murphy

Tokyo Rosenthal

Pete Sinjin

Giula Millanta


Of Covers and Colours

25th May 2011 NBT

(to download right click on this link and ‘save as’ or simply stream by hitting the arrow ‘play’ button on the cassette above!)

Or Click on the Picture Below to get to the NBT Player/Channel !

youcan SUBSCRIBE to the NBT Podcast audio HERE

Music manipulated

inspired and inspiring

the independent way

 Read Reviews on these Artists on the NBT Blog

Giulia Millanta

LadyTown and Jebediah Goodthrust


 also featured on this show


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Top Ten

The NBT Review 120

Dropping Down – Giulia Millanta (Ugly Cat Music)

It’s a brave thing indeed to start of a set with a song that has, as its main focus, Anger. It could set us up for angst perhaps or that
shouty kinda righteousness that some protest singers favour. But ‘Right Between The Eyes’ balances the singers (rage) disappointment with a restrained sort of energy, holding back when it needs to, letting a gentle folk even reggae mood drift though, but keeping the bite, the tension perfectly.

It’s because its personal. And that’s the album’s defining core, these songs come from the heart and the mind, what takes place is seen through the singers eyes, what is felt is what she feels, and oh she is curious, feisty, humorous, yet introspective. And she manages somehow to make that introspection blossom outwards so that we become emotionally attached to the words and music.

She sets the scene, and often that scene is surreal, yet with a few words you catch on to all the characters, and where they fit, if only for a few seconds before they slip slide away, melt, fade into each other as she tumbles us gently into another chapter.

On the cover we see the artist seconds after taking the great leap off, down, into..where exactly? and we wonder if she will be able to
illustrate through her songwriter this ambiguous fear or joy or that satisfying mix of both.

Wonder no more, this free-fall is seductive, delicious even strangely comforting.

Her arrangements too fit this slow dive, never fussy, the instruments shift around the voice like the wind against the body falling,
special mention must be made though about Lorenzo Forti’s bass which slinks and curls around the songs, sly and provocative.

Millanta takes us on a quirky sideshow reading of Paranoid, which displays a subtle theatrical pose, before ending the set with ‘Floating’ which is placed perfectly as it seems to be an answer of sorts to all the questions raised within the previous stories, an acceptance of love, of self and finally of life.

Find out more

Look At The Sound – Jebediah Goodthrust (Independent Release)

 Holy Banjo Batman!  The Country superhero brings us another slice of home cooked rock n roll, or maybe its moonshine, He sure does strut across the speakers like a good old young man all dressed up fine for a Saturday night adventure.

Mr Heise plays about 85% of what goes on here, but weirdly this is the most BAND sounding album of his long curved career.

This is the Breakthrough collection the one that could shove those that merely admire into something resembling pure love. And I for one will rejoice mightily when that happens.

It even boasts a bona fide classic rock single in ‘Go’ which is a gloopy mix of Sweet Jane Velvets and Paul Westerberg  all applied with a big brush onto that unmistakable Heise Brothers structure.

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

There are ungainly waltzes (cowboys learning to love and dance, their minds half on that pretty face half on the hassles and weight of the world outside), and even that peculiar kinda post punk ballad type thing that only a certain type of deviant American really understands or gets right.. again though its the Heise twist that defines them, so its Pixies or Pavement (depending on the hour and the song) but with that  smudge on the windscreen perspective.

Personal favourite  for me, (let it be said that this collection is FULL of faves)  is ‘So Tired’ a song that builds and falls , builds and falls and  contains a delicate tension that bodes well for future releases and also gets that difficult creature that is Nelson’s voice just

Look, they are never really gonna be mainstream, but this one flirts with the possibility, and is perhaps the brothers finest achievement thus far.

And if this ‘solo’ outing makes you , gentle listener want to explore the back roads that the Hit and Mrs and The Heise Brothers travelled, then that’s a damn good thing.


 Tracks from BOTH these fine recordings can be found on the NBTMusic Radio

 and they
will also be featured on the NBT Flagship Podcast going out tomorrow
on this very set of pages :)

The NBT Review 119

Various Songs – New Pants (Independent Release)

 Sometimes the present is not enough, the mere reporting of what we find and what that discovery does for us does not suffice. Sometimes we are honour bound to be fortune tellers, to seek out the potential within, to see way beyond the beginning.

 So four songs tumble into my world. For once the facts are useful it’s NOT just the song, it’s the way the songwriters will progress that adds flavour, colour, excitement and most of all hope.

 Double Happiness shouldn’t work,doesn’t always work, its a sparkly thing, a cute hybrid of ‘jump’ era Van Halen (without macho guitar though) and  a whole bunch of French indie electro pop sounds ala Daft Punk or Justice or Air. EXCEPT.. it doesn’t have those bands hip factor or disco knowledge or experience (which sometimes makes even the most pretty things from these for-mentioned bands seem slightly jaded and too’knowing’) this song IS stuck in a time warp sure, but one gets the feeling its circumstance not deliberate. You get the feeling that its not old men looking back but rather young men learning as they go.. a far more enticing prospect.

 Go East adds a touch of Cars melodrama, a melody that reminds of that pastel pop hit ‘take my breath away’, but keeps the
production a step away from glossy, or pumped up. Give this song to whoever controls Gaga’s puppet strings this week and they would blow it up to blockbuster wide-screen proportion  and have this glossy soulless thing that would stay on the charts for months and then be instantly forgotten . The band does not go this way and I for one hope that they have the sort of brave advisers that will ensure they never do.

 Then we are rewarded with two tracks, Disco Girl and I Dont Wanna Lose You. And we can now see the future and
its glowing bright. It’s glowing bright because of the dust, the haze, the dirt, there is sand in the oil and the oil slurps into the
machine. The pop is there but now its the kinda pop that the J and M Chain understood, or Peter Hook likes to fool around with (even back in the Joy Division days he did), that made Peel love the Undertones and that was gutter instinct with the Ramones.

The band starts moving forward wonderfully secure in the lack of knowledge about the past, time folds into itself and its shoegaze and bubblegum and fun and noise all over again for the very first time.

 New Pants will either make a masterpiece of Indie music. Or they will be taken by the hand and led astray by technicians and
spin doctors and  those vampires that suck the lifeforce from old hits and make them the modern pop undead.

 Listening to the last two tracks here. I believe it will be the former option..

 After all.

Its all
about HOPE.

Find out more here:


 New pants
are being played a LOT on the NBTMusicradio