In the past few years, techno has become one of the most prominent forms of electronic music within Cape Town’s CBD. Ranging from clubs such as Modular, ERA and Club 89, to Fiction, The Waiting Room and a range of independent events, techno is currently a staple. However, the city is renowned for its fickle outlook. At some point, someone manages to apply the right elements of a genre, moulding it into a more pop-sensible version. Often, this could be due to the intentional engineering to achieve a more easily consumed sound, but sometimes it purely comes from appreciation and sincerity, and it happens organically.
The latter is what makes music so exciting – the opportunity to extend your personality, confidently and sincerely, into a form of meaningful and entertaining expression.
Gourmet, the Cape Town-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and songwriter, is one of those artists who seems to achieve the relaying of his influences more organically than others, finding a sound which feels polished, original, interesting and fun. After releasing ‘Animals’, the leading single off his debut album Cashmere, it was clear that Gourmet truly enjoys making music. ‘Delicious’ is Gourmet’s first release since Cashmere dropped in December 2015, and will tomorrow be released (once again) through the multidisciplinary studio, label and collective he co-runs, 1991.
Gourmet’s style has become more energised through an application of several techno elements. The opening lyrics of ‘Delicious’ are reflective of the party culture strongly linked to the subcultures around genres like house and techno, “All night / Alright / You’re proper / The real, bad man / Pill popper”, but are delivered in a playful and interesting way, making the track feel simultaneously fun, familiar and original.
This ability stretches beyond the music, and enters his use of visuals. Cashmere presented Gourmet to us on a lush carpet cross-legged on the floor with a yellow towel wrapped around his head surrounded by toy cars, books, a papaya and pot plants. The 47-second intro video for ‘Delicious’ mirrors the music’s new found energy, with brighter colours and more of Gourmet’s personality.
The papaya is still with us, but he’s traded the yellow towel and carpet for a wet head of shoulder length hair, pink sunglasses and pink underpants, whilst on an indoor bicycle in front of a painting of babies, while having objects handed to him including a bottle of water, a cigarette and a telephone. The video fades out just before the chorus, but it’s already cast its spell, drawing you in by matching the energy of the significantly well-produced music. This is one of the major benefits of having highly-skilled label buddies like Maxime Alexander, whose 2016 EP, MA14 , received wide online acclaim from both listeners and fellow producers.
“Gourmet wants you to feel comfortable, Gourmet wants you to take off your shirt, Gourmet wants you to forget about your insecurities.”
“I don’t want you to worry, I just want you to dance” is the single quotation from Gourmet’s ‘Delicious’ press release, designed and distributed by 1991, joined by the following passage: “Gourmet wants you to feel comfortable, Gourmet wants you to take off your shirt, Gourmet wants you to forget about your insecurities.” It’s clear that sincerity has the spotlight here and you can feel it in the music and the lyrics. The visuals provide a bit more animation and humour, with energy similar to that of Canadian producer Tiga’s 2014 video for his own techno-leaning single ‘Bugatti’.
With ‘Delicious’, Gourmet takes the first step on his second journey of solo writing – ingesting and interpreting his influences, and reappearing with something of his own. It’s a skill, be it consciously or subconsciously harnessed, which is incredibly important to artists maintaining their authenticity and gravitas, and I’m really excited to see what Gourmet has in store for us with future releases.
Take a listen to Gourmet’s debut album, Cashmere, below: