Mikanic - Swimming With The Women

album cover

November 2002, Rhythm, RR036

Sons Of Trout


  1. Don't Push mp3
  2. Swimming With The Women
  3. Freedom And Happiness
  4. Madiba
  5. Jeff
  6. Masked Man
  7. Masganja
  8. Africa My Love
  9. Making Love With The Sunshine
  10. Inja
  11. Sweets

    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


Some Stuff:

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 recording sessions.

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'.

Ze Music:

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 sense.

'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

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