Watch: Mikey February // Sonic Souvenirs

Stu Nettle
Reels

Following Dylan Graves and 'Weird Waves' comes another web series funded by Vans.

Similarly alliterated, 'Sonic Souveniers' is hosted by Mikey February and is described as "a series of portraits that takes us on an exploration of art, music, and surfing."

Produced by Kai Neville, the original schedule had them heading to India until COVID put paid to that. Instead, Mikey explored his roots closer to home, taking three trips within South Africa and teaming up with Zulu musician Madala Kunene. Kunene contributes five songs to the clip, each of them serene and languorous, contrasting against the up tempo beats of M-Feb's last outing 'Nu Rhythmo'.

Mikey's surfing is on song - boom, boom - as he mixes flair with the odd flash of grunt while riding a raft of fish, pins, twins, and mid-lengths. In fact, it feels like this format is more of a natural fit for Mikey. He was a square peg during his lone year on the CT. The only way he was going to make it on that stage was if the judges stretched the style component, but six last place finishes shows how willing they were to accomodate.

So the surfing is hot and the music inspired, yet somehow the whole package doesn't grab. Unlike 'Weird Waves' where Dylan was an affable host who spoke to camera while taking a deep dive into weird subcultures, this is a mix of visual grabs and disjointed conversations with little context to glue it together.

If the goal was something sensual and abstract they achieved it, however as an "exploration" it was also less compelling than it ought to be.

But...Episode One it is, there's more to come and we'll see if the idea can grow.

 

Comments

Balbero's picture
Balbero's picture
Balbero Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 7:36pm

Beautiful movie, deep reflection, soundtrack from La La Land. Thank you swellnet.

Finntim's picture
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Finntim Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 7:55pm

+1. just what was needed today. cheers

big wave dave's picture
big wave dave's picture
big wave dave Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 8:51pm

loved that clip.
A great fusion of African culture & music, incredible waves and wicked surfing. I really liked it

Patate's picture
Patate's picture
Patate Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 9:24pm

His style and the music made the clip hypnotic, I rarely last 17minutes without skipping!

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 10:34pm

I thought it was spectacular. Kai Neville and Mikey February = Gold and a 10 out of 10 from me. Beautiful surfing on perfect canvases.

Goodwolf's picture
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Goodwolf Wednesday, 21 Apr 2021 at 8:38am

I second that emotion.

stanfrance's picture
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stanfrance Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 10:57pm

Flows like liquid, a modern day Tom Curren

vbaaccess's picture
vbaaccess's picture
vbaaccess Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 8:01am

Totally agree with you.

stan1972's picture
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stan1972 Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 8:41am

It looks like you're all alone with that review Stu. I also loved it.

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 8:47am

Mikey February just matched, then raised Tom Curren's wave at J-Bay...

stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 8:58am

Nah Stan, I just watched it again, and the surfing is indeed unreal - as mentioned in the text - but the clip has ambitions of being more than surf porn and I reckon the whole thing comes up short.

When I watch an episode of 'Weird Waves' I come away feeling like I understand those obscure surfing subcultures that bit better. Can't say the same for African music here.

Great tunes, no doubt, but it could do with some bolder exploration.

And the Curren analogy....really?

They're both smooth, but Curren had economy of movement. No way he'd ever put in the little jazz hands and feet flourishes that M'Feb does. That shows a self-conciousness which was never evident in Curren's surfing.

Also, Curren was also more consistent in his intensity while M'Feb switches it off and on.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 8:59am

Yes, yes, and yes.

Pops's picture
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Pops Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 9:17am

Haven't watched it yet, but I reckon Larry Bertleman's a better comparison to Mikey February (rather than Curren).

stanfrance's picture
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stanfrance Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 8:31pm

You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about Stu

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 9:15am

No valid Curren comparison in my eyes.

Curren could(can) ride anything but unlike M-Feb, can do big turns with real power.
M-Feb is flicky and has no big turns.

Thats why M-Feb only lasted a year on the CT.

Beautiful film though, really enjoyed it.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:32am

Interesting thoughts FR and quite valid but i tend to disagree.
I personally thought of Curren first while watching it, especially his bottom turns. Almost identical approach off the bottom i can't think of many other surfers i could draw that same comparison....maybe Parko..
I think his power is there in spades, it's more subtle though, and his turn selection and placement are so on point, I reckon it masks a bit of his power. He's more of an artist for sure than a power surfer hunting big hacks and carves for the sake of it. He seems to do them more at the time that fits into the whole rhythm of the wave.
Probably more why he didn't stay on tour, his approach isn't what the judges want to see. I'd rather watch February surf than half the CT though.
But that's why surfing is so hard to judge. We all see and appreciate different aspects of it. And agreed, the waves are the real stars of the film. Well complemented though i thought by his surfing.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:42am

Go to 1:45 and see what Curren's J-Bay bottom turn looks like. Fast, powerful, ultra smooth:

https://www.surfer.com/videos/sonny-miller-talks-tom-currens-first-wave-...

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:53am

horses for course, but I don't like that really weak, inflected back knee surfing.
It's very Craig Anderson.

Go watch Curren on the Search Video when he's riding a longer board on that sand bottom Point in Mozambique.
Incredible flow, style and real power turns.

A world away from that weak back leg of M-Feb, imo.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:07am

Fair enough.
I grew up watching the Curren Search video on repeat through my whole grommethood so have a fair idea for comparison.
Weak is a strong word. Is that an oxymoron.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:45am

Jai Glindeman is a closer match to Curren in my opinion, stronger turns than M-Feb too

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 1:55pm

So so good, isn't he.

GODS QUAD's picture
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GODS QUAD Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 9:24am

Far out this is good and a breath of fresh air from all the loud arty 5 min air-rev clips. The section on the yellow board and hood in pumping waves was unbelievable. Hats off to Kai and Mikey, more of this type of surfing please!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 9:30am

to be honest, I found the landscape and waves the highlight of the film.

how amazing does that Transkei coast look.

waves and landscape like here minus the McMansions and housing estates.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:08am

You been there FR?

It’s epic.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:13am

no, but the view from your joint with that low heath and big sky reminded me of it.

I'd like too.

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 10:36am

..interesting range of reviews..certainly a peaceful way to mind surf my way through breakfast..with all due respect to what I watched before that clip..NV frothing every second of his existence..which just leaves me on edge...I know I'm not in his demo..whereas I think the purpose of this film is to explore time sequences: surfing, music, people - all interacting in the present with reference to long-term cultural norms..after all Africa its the birthplace of the homo sapien..so linear time frames don't exist within this framework...also caused me to reflect on how many African's he represents in a post-apartheid SA, "the one" that rose from the post-modern NM era - and now SA is facing another major economic shock...essentially due to corruption..the more things change, the more....a quiet and peaceful film of encouragement, to reflect on connecting with nature in a year of isolation, nice idea/excellent execution to me....I'm pretty sure MF has worked out he's not a high performance CT rooster, he's no TC for me either - but plenty to add for me on the grace front..J'Bay - what a wave for the average surfer... I'm feeling like I wouldn't mind pulling in and parking off to a bit of Transki myself right about now..

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:26am

who is NV RR?

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 2:29pm

nic van froth

Gowsa's picture
Gowsa's picture
Gowsa Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:22am

Surfs way better in this clip than when on the CT
Can definitely see he is nursing his turns on a Twinnie though.
Need a 3rd fin to really power thru turns.

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 5:03pm

I was thinking that with the longer red board he was riding; it really looked like he was nursing his turns on that board. Smooth and stylish as always on the others.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:27am

Dunno how Feb can possibly be compared to Curren.

Yeah they're both smooth but Curren has infinitely more precision, speed and power, and he maintains this right through the full radius of his turns.

Light years between them.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:30am

Really enjoyed that. Gave the travel bug an appetite! Geez fark off Covid!!!!
Nice work....

garry-weed's picture
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garry-weed Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:58am

Reckon he's more Gilmore than Curren

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 12:16pm

The first thing I picked was a comparison to Curren, I'm not as technically critical as FR and Stu all I saw was the flow and timing factor on absolutely beautiful right hand point waves. Definitely worth my 19mins of time.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 1:59pm

That was beautiful, with the music and tight cropped vision it put me almost into a trance. One of my favs.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 3:10pm

Loved the vid- the music, waves and especially the surfing.

Can't compare MF with Curren though. Poles apart imo.

Jeremy Clayton's picture
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Jeremy Clayton Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 3:30pm

Hey do you know what his quiver was?

gsco's picture
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gsco Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 4:47pm

mesmerising, could have watched another 1/2hr of that, really like the dude's style

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 5:54pm

It was good definitely one of the better videos of the last year or so.

If I'm being picky :

1. I think it would have been better if edited to 15 minutes, i didnt skip any but i was itching too at times, it did drag on..

2. What would you remove? It was a bit heavy in some areas on the non surfing clips, kind of got repetitive in areas and a bit spacey.

2. I would have liked to have seen longer vision of the pulled back unridden waves peeling down those Right hand points.

3. Would have been nice if for each section it came on the screen what each board was for example "twin fin 5,10 x 20 x 2, 3/8"

4. Would have liked to hear him talk about the boards, even if just very briefly.

But still much more watchable than 90% of stiff these days and the guy sure has style, equal mix of a modern day MP, Curren & Buttons.

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 6:42pm

Thoroughly enjoyed this. Love his relaxed style, complimented by beautiful African waves and a great sound track. He is an amalgam of styles as mentioned, but I think he has a unique and distinctive approach all of his own.
More of this please.

nextswell's picture
nextswell's picture
nextswell Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 7:51pm

Yes more like this. I don’t need anymore clips of mick and crew at the superbank.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 11:30pm

san Guine I'm glad I'm not alone. I agree that he's got his own approach, and I like that he's reserved when he sees fit and belts it if he feels like it. He obviously doesn't give a flying fark what we wankers on our keyboards think....if only that he's giggling that he gets to surf those waves with that ability on boards he seems to have shaped himself.

I think way too many people are stuck in CT-performance mode, which is a great shame. A bit like saying rallying is shithouse cos F1 is the only true drive. Nah, they're not clocking 310 down the straight. What a bunch of Barry Cornells.

Comparing him to anyone is pointless, it sounds more like people can't quite get their head what he's actually doing and struggle to break it down in a thruster-based CT-style analysis, and so reach for the easiest reference point they have....oh yeah, he's pretty stylish...must be like Curren. That's just lazy.

If you don't think he's got any power I think you need to have a long hard look in the mirror and watch it again - there are 50 turns in there where the water is still raining down when he's off into the next one. His style makes his look less powerful as he doesn't over-egg many turns, and he gives the illusion that he's not often really trying. That's art.

Towards the end he zips past on a yellow board and the camera dips underwater to capture the view. Looks like he's actually riding a modern shorty but has twins in it and no third fin. Interesting.

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw Friday, 16 Apr 2021 at 12:24am

imagine people having different opinions and tastes to yours, crazy ay

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 4:38pm

I thought they were all Twins except for the board at 17 mins ?

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw Friday, 16 Apr 2021 at 12:23am

got bored to be honest, love the style and the sounds but his surfing just ain't good enough to keep me interested. stoked for those who love his surfing and loved this vid

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 2:21pm

Yep. Tried three times and still can’t get through it.

Roystein's picture
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Roystein Friday, 16 Apr 2021 at 8:38pm

Great waves, great surfing

birdfood's picture
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birdfood Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 2:14pm

I could certainly do with more waves like those in my life! Good to see Mikey is really getting into shaping. Shaping your own boards and getting paid to surf them must truly be what dreams are made of.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 3:42pm

Which boards do you think he shaped ?

birdfood's picture
birdfood's picture
birdfood Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 7:03pm

Perhaps I'm being gullible, but from this CI insta post is sounds like some of the twin pins?

I don't think he's been shaping long though so maybe more likely larger volume boards like the one at 6:30

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Sunday, 18 Apr 2021 at 6:33am

I've watched the J-Bay section twice now. If Tom Curren is the template for good surfing there then I reckon Michael comes pretty damn close.

spiggy topes's picture
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spiggy topes Monday, 19 Apr 2021 at 11:07am

Comparisons are odious. Despite the equipment when I half-closed my eyes I was back in the early 70s, on an uncrowded warm water coast, watching and loving the work of better surfers than me. The music was a good fit and a leveller in these over-amped times. Funny little right leg skip made me think his ankle gets tired on endless perfect right handers. Why battle with the CT with its Wall St traders' rip and gouge? Give me country soul in a retro car any day.

drodders's picture
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drodders Wednesday, 21 Apr 2021 at 9:55pm

That was great