Cape Town spits out local funk hip hop
I think the adolescent version of me would have really liked this band. The current version of me needs some time to adjust. Without generalising, it paints a picture of an existing scene. Think of Purple Turtle in Long Street and what kind of people it attracts to its scene. Guys who loved Incubus’s album Fungus Amungus and an array of 90’s lyrical funk bands. Barefoot vegan girls. Avid nagillah collectors, et al paraphernalia. A dedicated Rastafarian buddy to crochet their dreads monthly. Oh, and a lifeline to their closest dealer.
Yes, being generously overzealous in stereotyping here, but this music is for the stoners. An ode to a generation, who pushed back against grime and glitch, pulled in dub and were spoken to through hip hop.
“The Vibe” is reminiscent of the New Academics, with the energy of iScreamStix. The lyrics are smooth in moments, and unlikely in construction in others.
Living in Cape Town with the skin colour of mud/ more so if you look like charcoal/ Helen says I’m a pro-black/ so what do I know?
They have created a very commercial sound, high in energy, which could sit well with a variety of audiences. I won’t resist musicality with spoken word- it has its appeal. I do however want more depth. This is especially so in “Tennis” as it flows into a vast engine of R & B tones. There is potential in its quality, but the keyboard is nostalgic of background lounge jazz, and that puts me off.
“Back at the start” have some great guitar riffs stringing behind its lyrics, especially when the drums back it up. Spitting rhymes at me, the rapping overlaps it’s backtrack, and is competing with a solid linear path, which dominates the song instead of complimenting its composition.
“Psychosis” followed by “Snowed in” stands out. Its beauty lies in its sway of vocal attitude and guitar chords. Keeping it mellow and dark gives it the depth I was looking for in earlier tracks. Their title links to its feel. There is a deranged pull between the sound and the lyrics, fuelling their power. Momentss, this could very well be your step into the game. If it began with these two tracks, it would translate a higher journey of recognition for me.
Even though I was taken off course for majority of Pretext, it has its moments. Let’s hope they play their strengths up for their debut album.