Thinking on their toes

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“MORE think, more dance” is what Afrikaans electro rap group Bittereinder (pictured) have gone for with their latest album, which is available in all major outlets. Die Dinkdansmasjien is the Sama-winning group’s second release and features a host of top-notch local and international collaborators.

The three-man think-dance machine comprises lyricist and rapper Jaco van der Merwe; award-winning musician and producer Peach van Pletzen, and award-winning visual artist, director and musical producer Louis Minnaar.

The outspoken and confident Van der Merwe explained what the album Die Dinkdansmasjien represented: “Think-dance machine is basically what we see the band has become as a vehicle of thought. Through our music, we do social commentary. We like to address topics. I’m a very con-ceptual writer and we make loud dancey and electronic music.

“People come to our shows because they want to dance and, at the same time, it’s also about substance. There’s something for your intellect and your dancey set. We feel the band have become a machine that thinks and dances.”

Known for their collaborations with diverse artists, Bittereinder have shared the stage and worked with Jack Parrow, Tim Beumers (Dutch rapper), Sev Statik (Deepspace5, US) and Chris Chameleon.

Van der Merwe says: “Our constant is our love for colla-boration and working with fellow musicians we are inspired by, and our music features our favourite artists and some international artists. In terms of the lyrical aspect of the album, I thought about concepts instead, and I thought about it before I started writing. For the first album – it was a lot more organic – we sat in the studio and wrote the songs. This time we were very aware of each song being a part of the album.”

What’s more impressive is the immense popularity the chart-topping Pretoria trio have attained with channel MK’s Top 10. They were even nominated for three 2012 MK Awards in the categories Best Group, Best Newcomer and Best Dance.

“We worked for two years on the first album, and two years on the second, so it’s rewarding when your music does well… We are so for-tunate that this year there are so many platforms. I mean, I’ve been making music since 1988 and it’s only in the past six years that… [our] music [has been] played, and that’s thanks to the various chan-nels we now have.”

It’s evident each member brings something special to the band and that’s what makes Bittereinder unique. Van der Merwe agrees this is the strength of the band.

“All three of us know our role in the band and we know what works. We carry out our roles and that makes our band strong as a unit. If we couldn’t say that we had grown then we should just quit. We’ve grown in terms of the production, my delivery and my lyrics – the flow of it all. The mix itself as well. We’ve definitely matured. It’s a next level and there are some more crazy collaborations, so expect real big bangers, like huge beats and a lot more conceptual lyrics with the Bittereinder flavour. More think and more dance.”

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