By Mignon van Zyl
Die Heuwels Fantasties, or informally known as DHF, is not your average Bellville boys music group. Unlike others before them (Fokofpolisiekar), DHF produces music that can be favoured amongst Afrikaans as well as English speaking people and brings an alternative form of Afrikaner music to the table. While their music has been classified into various genres, Johnny de Ridder (band member) claims that their music “is not dance anymore. It is decent pop now, in Afrikaans”.
Their eponymous album was released in March 2009 and has hit the hearts of many pop-loving South Africans. It consists of 11 full length tracks including hit singles such as Pille vir Kersfees, Vinger Alleen and Oorlewing 101. It also features the likes of other well known Afrikaans artists such as Francois van Coke (Van Coke Cartel and Fokofpolisiekar), Laudo Liebenberg and the infamous Cooler as Ekke star, Jack Parow.
The band has not only received recognition by South African music industries but also awards for their head-bopping album, for instance the Gewildste Kopskuif album (Popular Mind Shift album) by Huisgenoot Tempo, Beste Groep album (Best Group album) by Rapport VAMT (Vonk Afrikaans Musiektoekennings) and number one South African album of 2009 by MFM (Stellenbosch Radio Station).
With its upbeat tones and revolutionary lyrics, Die Heuwels Fantasties may be the beginning of a new Afrikaans music field altogether. While it does not portray your usual Boere musiek, an Afrikaans background is easily picked up in songs like Klein Tambootieboom and Leja which give a sense of tranquillity and nostalgia to the album. When DHF released a flash disk in the shape of a pill containing four songs and three videos in 2009, Pille vir Kersfees became an instant sell out.
It is definitely the favoured track as it is light-hearted, fun and original. Die Vraagstuk, featuring Jack Parow, is the only disappointment on the album. Not only does this track include uncountable amounts of swearwords, but also lacks the fluidity that is present in the others. This could be due to the hard, static rap words of Mr Parow or due to the fact that DHF don’t fit the ‘Parow image’ as well “die ou met die snor by die bar”.
With Hunter Kennedy and Pierre Greef who have both had experiences in the music world before (Aking, Fokofpolisiekar and Lukraaketaar), Die Heuwels Fantasties is easily liked by anyone who is fond of pop music with an electro zest.