November 2002, Rhythm, RR036
Sons Of Trout
- Don't Push mp3
- Swimming With The Women
- Freedom And Happiness
- Masked Man
- Africa My Love
- Making Love With The Sunshine
All tracks recorded live at the Wondergigs at the SABC Beach Road Studios, Cape Town, 10 October 2001 and 24 March 2002.
- Michael Rennie: vocals, violin
- Nicholas Turner: vocals, guitar
- Schalk Joubert: bass
- Riaan van Rensburg: drums
- Jamie Jupiter: Harmonica, African pipes, shaker
- Sylvia Mdunyelwa: vocals on track 10
- Ernie Deane: vocals on track 1
- Mike Hardy: vocals on track 5
This CD was recorded live at the SABC Beach Road studios, Cape Town, in
front of a packed audience as part of the renowned Wondergigs live
Mikanic performed and recorded together with a swing orchestra (Schalk
Joubert and Riaan Van Rensburg) and these are the guests that all feature
on the album: Jamie Jupiter playing the mouth organ on 'Blues', Mike Hardy
singing on 'Jeff', Sylvia Mdunyelwa singing on 'Inja', Ernie Deane singing
on 'Don't Push'.
Bloody hell. No bland tidbits here. Just a cunningly smooth piece of work,
with semi-sporadic reggae-ish grooves and amazingly yummy bursts of manic
rhythms, funky notes and - hey presto - Africa with a new dress.
Mike Rennie is a demon with a heart on a frisky multilingual violin. His
voice slips through the back door and takes care of the punctuation in
several different fonts. Incredible how this cool dude's violin mutates
into a third arm with a thousand tongues. Nick Turner on guitar and vocals
shows you how to get inside their tunes. Way inside. Occasionally his voice
turns a bit schizo - one moment high and clear, but on the next bar you get
slapped against the head with a raucus roll of stomping macho notes.
Watch out for Jamie Jupiter's harmonica. It teases and tiptoes, but can
turn into a high-maintenance bitch just as quickly. Catch a listen in Track
9 to taste the effect. And even the track titles have oomph. 'Inja'.
'Masganja'. 'Sweets'. 'Naked Man'.
Track 1 oozes quiet power. 'Don't Push'. This should be the hit, but not
for the empty-headed bubblegum brigade. Its chilling beauty will stay in
your head long after you put the CD away. Words with purpose. "Don't push /
Don't shove / We don't need no help / Falling in and out of love...." But
wait for the girl. Hear her voice ascend to a dizzy height of wordless
emotion and hit that hot rush of urgency.
Disappear into Track 5. 'Jeff' is... well... freaking stunning. "I don't
need the know-how / You got the energy..." and sharpen your ear for the
rest. The harmony gives you light and dark shades, bare hands on drums and
fingers on guitar strings give you clear-cut talent. Your best spirit fix
without the side-effects.
Give Track 7 a listen first - if you're intrigued by violin insanity and
apparently erratic rhythm changes. Then do it again, and it will all make
'Madiba' on the lekker Track 4 is filled to the brim with the jive. The old
Dude should have this in his CD-walkman. The rap works. The voices mix like
pap and seshebo. "Slowly / Side to side/ Side to Side / Open up slowly / In
the shade of the trees / Gonna buzz from the bees..." It goes quiet for a
sec. Then it picks up again with Mike Rennie and that violin strummin' the
stress right out of your bones. "Yamma Madiba Mamadiba Mamadiba..."
Laid-back beats in Track 8 - 'Africa My Love' - soothes those rough
suburban edges. Then - some some weird pulse starts talking - sounds like
some dude playing harp with a kick-ass spiderweb, a thick rich sound with a
throbbing beat that makes your feet walk ways in all directions. This one -
hooo boy - this one will nail your ear to the speaker.
'Making Love with the Sunshine' on Track 9 shows you the nature child. Aahh
yes. "I've been walking with the insects today..." and shoooosh, you are
there. Chilling while you breathe through your eyelids. "Photosynthesising
with the green... content and free...". And then, just after the sixth
minute, you groove straight into a jazzy vibe, dotted here and there with
violin and harmonica. Smoooooth.
'Swimming with the Women'. Each time you listen to this CD you will find
new rooms. Utterly lekker to hear so many spicy sounds in each song.
Cleverly put together, lyrics with a purpose and ever so slightly freaky in
places, but lusciously funky, this one.
Carina Laubscher, December 2002