When they founded Ill Skillz in 2005, Uno July and Lukona Sitole couldn’t have anticipated that, just one year shy of a decade later, they would’ve experienced the departure of three crew members. Their deejay, Nick Knucklez, relocated to a different country and their fourth member Macho left some time later. DJ ID (short for Intelligent Dezign), joined the group for a stint, but then he too migrated to a different city.
I discovered the three piece Afrikaans outfit Bittereinder through the internet and fell in love with them because of their live performance. Their music, a bass-heavy flurry of high-energy drops and subdued melodies, develops a different personality on stage, often in stark contrast to the studio recordings. Bleeps become filtered echoes; drum patterns change, or disappear completely. Bittereinder is Afrikaans for ‘bitter ender’.