In one ear and out it goes the other. In a span of 20 months, Die Antwoord signed to a major, re-released a debut and waved goodbye to the same label due to being less commercial. One listen to the group’s second full-length, Ten$Ion, begs to question if anyone was really listening. Though the highly audible Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er claim it’s a record with high gangster levels, it’s almost “fok bitches, let’s party” with a lot more pop-orientated aspects than $0$ and it’s weird introduction. The main difference being, their taste for rave is more apparent. The Afro techno pop jaunts that play with the innocence of keyboards and back it up with Mortal Kombat-like percussion (“Baby’s On Fire”, “I Fink You Freeky”) are highly complex, making it seem out of the ordinary for Die Antwoord, but better than their usual rants about ninjas (“U Make A Ninja Wanna Fuck”) and fame (“So What?”).
But Ten$Ion isn’t the LP that re-writes genres with a foreign talent that’s been written off for months. From Track 1 to 13, it’s a rhythmic record with styles being brushed over by the group’s unheralded ability to strap hip-hop, dance and beatboxes to one output while it severely lacks the education to make the listener be responsive. Between uncensored outbursts (“DJ Hi-Tek Rulez”) and a combustion of noise (“Never Le Nkemise 1″), it addresses a pressing question: is this still a real thing? Die Antwoord beg to differ feeling sorry for those that ask that question, but it still floats to the top when arguably one of their best tracks – an M.I.A.-perfect bass stomp titled “Hey Sexy” – quotes Ludacris, talks about jamming cocaine up noses and uses too much Afrikaan making it seem like a Turkish chart topper or an amateur YouTube recording gone wrong. There’s a lot more confidence in Ninja and Vi$$er’s new effort, but it’s forced, coming off senseless and providing some sort of proof their fire might finally be cooling off.
Download: “Fok Julle Naaiers”, “Hey Sexy”
[Find updates on album reviews, music news and videos on Facebook]