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Little Dragons

Little Dragons

by Tumi Molekane / 22.07.2009

Every time I speak music with someone, how highly I regard their taste will solely lay on whether or not they like Little Dragon. This kinda-known Swedish group are just left of pop music, so you might be forgiven for thinking their music is pop. But you would be seriously mistaken because this is soul music. Soul music with an exquisitely crafted electronic sonic vibration that places it appropriately in today and tomorrow. Their lead singer’s (Yukimi Nagano) angelic instrument gives an everyday truth to some of the most bizarre lyrics on their self titled debut album. 
“After the rain, we pretend it’s easier to begin without looking back”. But don’t take it from me, take a listen.

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  1. djf says:

    Your opinion of the musical faculties of others is based solely on their appreciation of ONE band?? Isn’t that ultimately quite narrow-minded and personally limiting?

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  2. Andy says:

    That’s Tumi for you.. shoots from the hip, but reserves the right to change his opinion.

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  3. Nathan Zeno says:

    Djf – your opinion of Tumi is based solely on the reading of ONE sentence?? Isn’t that ultimately quite narrow-minded and personally limiting?

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  4. djf says:

    No Nathan, what makes you think that I have formed an opinion of him? One sentence in his review SUGGESTS that he may be adopting a more narrow and dogmatic opinion of others’ tastes, but maybe he hasn’t expressed himself as accurately or comprehensively as he would have liked (much as you have done in previous posts)? Hence my response is posed as a QUESTION rather than an accusation. Maybe we can wait for Tumi’s response before polarising this discussion further?

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  5. nathi says:

    Sick sounds, thanks for the link.

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  6. Nathan Zeno says:

    As you may have noticed, my post was also a question.

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  7. hamfisted says:

    @nathan you are a great writer and obviously a very intelligent guy, i’m really glad that you are writing and that a platform such as mahala exists. i’ve just noticed a trend in your comments however to be very aggressive and to pick arguments where none even necessarily exist. Maybe that is just your method, but i’m hoping you can grow out of it. Above all, keep writing,

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  8. Nathan Zeno says:

    – hamfisted. I just get really annoyed when people make comments without really reading the words in the pieces. So I try push their buttons. Its not the best trait I know. But sometimes when something is either clearly just a brief opinion (as above) or obviously tongue in cheek (see comments under Crossing Over) and the posters miss the obvious tone or nature of them, then I just can’t help myself. Maybe I should get out more.

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  9. Andy says:

    I think Tumi is just saying… that Little Dragon is ubiquitous and synonymous with good taste. That’s all. I mean, I don’t think he’d judge you as a nutmonkey with no taste if you had never heard of them

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  10. djf says:

    …and if you had heard them and they didn’t appeal to you?

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  11. Anonymous says:


    Little Dragon is not ‘ubiquitous’, and Tumi himself acknowledges this in the second sentence, calling them a ‘kinda-known’ band.

    Otherwise, I’m really fucking sick and tired of people arguing over their musical tastes. People seem to think that you can be an accomplished critic of the musical medium without a fraction of the study you’d require to be a similarly constituted film, architecture or visual art critic (that Levi’s Original Music magazine was a perfect example – a bunch of decent writers and unqualified music listeners writing about music as if their opinion means something).

    People also think you can approach music logically, and that you can hold the logically tenable position that your taste in music is better than someone else’s; which is, macrocosmically, so fucking tenuous a piece of thinking.

    In Tumi’s defence, it was obviously a throwaway line – he’d be an utter idiot to literally judge someone’s musical tastes based on one ‘kinda-known’ band.

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  12. djf says:

    Anonymous raises some important issues regarding the overall quality of SA music journalism. I find Tumi’s silence on this issue a bit baffling.

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  13. Andy says:

    DJF – Tumi’s on tour in France with his band The Volume.I’d be surprised if he took the time to weigh in on a debate as petty as this. As an accomplished musician, he a) knows a lot about music and is a qualified critic; b) has unique and interesting taste and; c) he’s sharing this stuff with us as a kind of head’s up. Yes, he used a loose turn of phrase in his opening line, but he’s just giving us a heads up on this cool band.

    Anon – Little Dragon are ubiquitous amongst people whose taste Tumi respects.

    Did either of you guys even click on the link and listen to the music? Because all you’re arguing about is the exclusivity of that one throwaway line… and the validity of music journalism on the whole…

    Kinda missing the point, methinks.

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  14. Anonymous says:


    “Little Dragon are ubiquitous amongst people whose taste Tumi respects”.

    The word ubiquitous means widely present, omnipresent, universal or found everywhere – to say that Little Dragon are ubiquitous amongst people whose taste Tumi respects is to completely defeat the meaning of the word. It’s like saying, “The length of my nostril hair is known across the galaxy… and by across the galaxy, I mean everyone who lives in Green Point.”

    I did actually click the link, immediately, to listen to Little Dragon. But I think the the more intriguing theme of music journalism’s lack of foundation for appraisal is the far superior attention-grabber. And your line about Tumi being a musician and having unique/interesting taste, motors on by completely ignoring my sentiments.

    Anyway, we’re all missing the point. This ‘article’ is really just one man giving a musical recommendation (which we’re all equally qualified to do), and opening up with the arrogant, blinded throwaway line that if your taste doesn’t equal his taste then you have no taste.

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  15. djf says:

    Andy, firstly I must congratulate the crew at Mahala for putting together a site that fills the gaping hole in South African cultural journalism that has existed until recently. It’s such a joy to be able to go to one place to find a wide variety of bold opinions (and discussion) on less mainstream events and activities. This is so much more informative and enlightening than going from one personal blog to another and having to endure the same old grey and dogmatic comments from only one person’s perspective. There is a huge challenge that you guys can rise to if you’re up for it and I sincerely hope that you get support from a growing base of media-literate readers.

    Now, if you’re going to rise to that challenge I strongly suggest that you employ a degree of editorial discretion before posting reviews and opinion pieces. I seriously doubt whether a reputable music publication would have let Tumi’s opening comments through without first challenging him on its syntax and perhaps encouraging him to express himself more accurately. Your subsequent comments have tried to put some spin on this and vainly suggest that because you know what Tumi actually meant (being personally acquainted), the rest of us should somehow also be able to grasp the spirit of what he was saying. This is perhaps a rather naive defense of what is ultimately sloppy journalism.

    Language is language, and in the absence of the slightest shred of irony (or any other figure of speech that could blur our interpretation of his words) those opening remarks could only mean one thing. There’s no point in trying to suggest otherwise.

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  16. Andy says:

    Points taken… we’re a work in progress.

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  17. Tumi Molekane says:

    Hey folks, please forgive the silence. Its just I have been doing cool band shit like playing music to audiences across Europe and buying caseloads of Champaign for my next video shoot.

    1. Context is imperative, this article was cut and pasted from my blog. The post was called “I mess with this” emphasis on the “I”. Little Dragon is great
    2. I am not Eduard Hanslick ; I am a music lover with some writing skills. Little Dragon is great
    3. Peer to peer criticism makes the most sense, but is not the panacea. Little Dragon is great
    4. I am fucking awesome. I don’t speak to people called anonymous even when I forget your name. The best way to handle the malicious critic is to ignore him. Little Dragon is great
    5. Every one has a socio-political agenda, I like a work or review it as to whether or not it fits the goals of that agenda. Little Dragon is great
    6. What is the goal of criticism? Rhetorical. Little Dragon is great
    7. I would never judge you on what you like, as you would never do that to me. Little Dragon is great
    8. Being a rapper, means I can say bitch, ass, cunt, Malcolm X, Ed Norton, peace, love and write with no trace of civility. Little Dragon is great

    “The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.”
    Oscar Wilde

    I yield to the deductions and the oceanic density of this quotes intelligence.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    You should be wary of quoting Wilde in argument, given his leaning for contradiction and contrarianism: He also said, “All art is quite useless” – how does that, then, render the artist whose job it is to educate the critic?

    1. There was (and is) no mention of where this paragraph was pulled from.
    2. No one contested that point.
    3. Who said anything about peer-to-peer criticism being a panacea?
    4. Uninteresting self-fellating; you must have quite the back to pull that off.
    5. Trite commentary.
    6. Where do you get the idea that the goal of criticism is purely rhetorical?
    7. Funny that, because the gambit of your article says otherwise.
    8. Again, trite.

    So, what’s your point?

    Admittedly, we are all showering far too much attention on this article. As I said earlier, it’s not an article, it’s a casually written musical recommendation – you think Little Dragon is great, you happen to be some Johnny-come-lately musician… why does that warrant this being published (I sincerely hope you weren’t paid for this)?

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  19. Tsholofelo says:

    Tumi, you should not be mean. see what you get. Andy, how come you did not tell us the article was ganked? Tumi is many things but I dont think you can call him a “Johnny-come-lately musician” no name.

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  20. Patrick yusef www.overstand.co.za says:

    oh wow, what a great forum. LD is cool, Anonymous, I am curious, do you like Little Dragon? dont think I once heard you talk about the music. Tumi is funny, infact I cant see him being serious with his response.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    @ Patrick

    I’m not particularly averse to the music of Little Dragon. I don’t think I’ve listened to them quite enough to pass judgement.

    Anyway, I wanted to discuss music journalism more than music itself, hence the reason you haven’t “heard” me talk about the music – I made my point earlier; I don’t care for people who argue the merits of their musical taste like it a) matters or b) they’ve got some magical meta-human insight into why this band is better than yours. It’s childish.

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  22. Patrick yusef www.overstand.co.za says:

    Pardon me Anonymous but all you have done here is care about someone who has argued his musical taste. nonetheless, the music is cool, glad I know the band. you might wanna check out Tumi and the Volume too.

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  23. Andy says:

    This is from the REAL Tumi Molekane – that other guy is a fake

    “My friend Andy Davis asked if he could put something I wrote on my blog about little dragon on his website. This was not a review but he just wanted to put it in there as a recommendation to his readers. I agreed. It started a bit of an argument that even saw someone write into the tred as me. yes Someone wrote in, as Tumi Molekane and adressed the other comments. Since my article was given the cut and paste I will do the same with the comments. observe. P.S Andy, not cool my dude.”

    So ja, this will be the last time we cut ‘n paste content from Tumi’s blog. Apologies all round

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  24. Andy says:

    So busted…

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  25. Tiago says:

    What happened here is kind of disgusting. Maybe this whole section should be deleted from the blog. The guy who posed as Tumi is obviously a big fan of his who finally had the chance to be him. At least he took something out of this. Us, the readers, took nothing out of reading this post.
    Mr. Anonymous, I read someone’s critics because of who he is, therefore, if I respect Tumi’s musical taste, based on what he said I’ll be encouraged to give Little Dragon a good listen. Imagine if we all went out and bought whatever we were told to buy because someone we don’t know thinks it’s great?
    Andy, keep doing your thing, it’s great.

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  26. Andy says:

    As much as I’d like to delete the offending section – we have a policy that we won’t censor any comments unless they’re spam or purely promotional URL listings… etc

    Thanks for the support Tiago

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