Reviews, The Booth

The Booth: Nicolaas Van Reenen

Fans, casual listeners and critics aren’t the only consumers of music. Every fortnight, we ask a prominent or exciting local artist to share five tracks that are currently on rotation on their boombox/diskman/Zune – oldies, latest hits, oddities and obscurities. Welcome to The Booth.

Over the past few years, Nicolaas Van Reenen has become a friendly and familiar name in the South African music scene. Having spent time touring with Spoek Mathambo in the early days of his international fame and established successful bands Bateleur and Fever Trails, it is no doubt that he is currently one of the hardest-working and influential South African musicians. Catch him playing with Fever Trails on Saturday at 17:45 at CTEMF. For now, here are his 5 favourite tracks at the moment:

Bob Moses – Far From the Tree

This artist was brought to my attention by a friend, Charlotte Carter. At first impressions it’s nothing special, but then the harmonies kick in and it becomes pretty spectacular, while remaining somewhat restrained – which I think is a pretty important word nowadays. However, I think if I were to be honest with myself, I suppose the main reason I like this song is because it kind of reminds me of Caribou – although far less complex. God I miss Caribou.

Stan Tracey Quartet – Starless and Bible Black

Just an incredibly beautiful, easy track. I recently asked my Facebook network what their favourite jazz albums were and my friend Nico Krijno came up with this. I’m normally not much of a fan of smooth jazz, but the ominous quality of that opening chord sequence really sucks me in.

Arca – &&&&&

So this dude has basically just been blowing my mind with everything he does. I came across his music on this thing he did with artist Jesse Kanda for MOMA PS1. I subsequently found out that he also co-produced some tracks on Yeezus (which I must admit I haven’t really listened to yet) and that he produces for FKA Twigs, who is also super fucking cool. Check it all out. Arca here and FKA Twigs here

Luke Temple – Katie

Shit, I just love Luke Temple so much. He’s practically the only person whose lyrics I listen to (since I’m normally more inclined to listen to everything surrounding the words). I think he’s so fresh. Check this song’s 80s vibe! Check his voice! Shit! He’s from a band I really love called Here We Go Magic. Find it all. Listen to it all. It’s fantastic stuff.

Darkside – Metatron

I haven’t always been that into Nicolas Jaar. I thought “Space is only noise that you can see” was a total bullshit observation. There’s probably some degree of feeling like there’s only room for one Nicolaas in this world. Then I listened to the Darkside album, and despite being put off by the pentatonic guitar vibes initially, it drew me in as if by some hypnotic persuasion. Now me and Mr. Jaar are all good. He’s won me over me. This shit is great.

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