Stark Raving Sane - The Unknown

album cover

2002, Independent, MRJ 7777


  1. A New Groove
  2. Lonely Colour
  3. Pleez Man mp3
  4. The Sun
  5. 20th Century
  6. The Child
  7. The Road
  8. Desert Knight
  9. Solo Eclipse Djam


  • Matthew Rice: guitar and vocals
  • James Kaye: percussion
  • Ronan Skillen: didgeridoo and other assorted percussion


From the band's name you'd expect a nu-metal punk thrash, but what you get is a refreshing and very chilled contrast. 'The Unknown' is a delicate and skilled slice of trippy local folk compositions, all performed by this rising Cape Town trio. StarkRavingSane formed in the Kalk Bay area in early-2001 and have built a faithful following from a string of gigs at The Troubadour, The Kronendal, the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre, CD Wherehouse, the recent Barleycorn Festival, and this year's Splashy Fen Festival, where they repeated their acclaimed performance from the 2001 event.

The band is Matthew Rice on guitar and vocals with James Kaye on percussion, and Ronan Skillen on didgeridoo and other assorted percussion - like his innovative "stones in a Marmite jar" instrument! Together these three musicians have produced a laid-back brand of relaxed head music, a gentle version of the early SA trip-folk groups like Nagual and THC. Many of these songs, like 'A New Groove', 'The Sun', and 'The Road', are slow-growers rewarding listeners patience with intricate instrumental patterns and a light melodic touch. 'Pleez Man' (it's about the cops) is the closest StarkRavingSane get to a conventional arrangement.

The album was recorded by Malcolm Aberdein at M.A.R.S Studios in Woodstock on June 18 and 21 2001, which was the day of the solstice and total solar eclipse....

-- Stephen Segerman, June 2002

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