On My Radar

Bombshelter Beast's Marcus Wyatt tells us what's on his cultural radar

Here's what the musician is reading, watching and downloading right now

15 March 2020 - 00:00 By Sanet Oberholzer
Marcus Wyatt and his Afrobalkan ensemble Bombshelter Beast will be performing at the 2020 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Marcus Wyatt and his Afrobalkan ensemble Bombshelter Beast will be performing at the 2020 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Image: Romy Brauteseth

Marcus Wyatt is a trumpet player and composer from Port Elizabeth. The South African Music Awards winner leads The Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra, which pays homage to the music of legendary South African jazz group The Blue Notes.

In 2015, he started Bombshelter Beast, the refreshing and unusual Afrobalkan ensemble that will be performing at this year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival at the end of March.

We caught up with Wyatt to find out what's on his cultural radar:

APP

There's a very cool music-related app called Amazing Slower Downer that allows you to slow songs right down without losing the pitch or tonality. Basically, you can figure out the nitty gritty in the middle of a piece of music, or transcribe your favourite songs/solos/lyrics.

BOOKS

Chris McGregor and The Brotherhood of Breath by Maxine McGregor. It's the incredible story of one of the giants of South African Jazz. McGregor was a founding member of the South African Blue Notes and The Brotherhood of Breath.

PLACES

Mozambique. I'm long overdue a scuba mission, and am planning a trip in April. Life seems less complicated underwater.

I also like Alberts Farm Park, part of Alberts Farm Conservancy. It's a very beautiful park and apparently the second largest green lung in Joburg. It's also my two pups' favourite place in the world.

MUSIC

Brazilian Girls, a self-titled album from 2005, is one of my favourite albums. It has the coolest songs, a lot of them at lovely, slowish old-school kwaito-type tempos.

Sydney Mavundla is one of my favourite South African trumpet players.

Then there's Fanfare Ciocarlia's Baro Biao: World Wide Wedding. It's crazy, gypsy brass-band music from Romania - a must-have in your collection.

THEATRE

I did a great little show at the Market Theatre recently with fellow "beast" Pule, who is a multi-talented actor/rapper and all-round cunning linguist. The show is called Unkulunkulu Yis'khothane and takes the form of a church service, where the church is that of the Holy Skhotane, a South African subculture. Google it.

Actor/rapper Pule recently co-starred with Marcus Wyatt in 'Unkulunkulu Yis'khothane' at Joburg's Market Theatre.
Actor/rapper Pule recently co-starred with Marcus Wyatt in 'Unkulunkulu Yis'khothane' at Joburg's Market Theatre.
Image: Supplied

RESTAURANTS

There is a little place down the road in Albertskroon called The Spot, where they make the best peri-peri chicken in Jozi. It is most definitely no frills, but those chickens are deadly.

There's also a little shop/deli in Bergbron called My Fish. They make super-tasty prawns and fish dishes.

Dosa Hut in Fordsburg completes this delicious trio. They make great dosas, a South Indian "crepe" with a masala potato or other fillings. It's soo good!

WHO I'M FOLLOWING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Among my favourite local bands are Cape Town-based Nomadic Orchestra and BCUC from Jozi. These two groups make great organic, grooving music and always get me up on my feet.