One of the most remarkable things about SOL GEMS is the sincerity that they exude. They’re the dudes who love what they do, are good at what they do, work hard and are starting to see the rest follow. They released their debut EP last year – Standing With The Sun//Under The Palms – a stellar two-track co-produced and mixed by Thor Rixon. Since then they’ve been at it consistently – working on new material and playing regular gigs in Joburg and Cape Town; resulting in their being billed for In The City JHB last month, an impressive feat for such a new act.
As of last week, their debut full length album, Lapis Lazuli, is out, much to the delight of their loyal and growing fanbase. It was partly recorded in the SABC studios and incorporates tech and gear which have been housed there since the 60s and 70s. This, combined with modern gear and home-recordings, has provided it with a characteristic warm but driving tone.
We all want to know exactly what our favourite musicians are bumping, to get a sense of where the magic (partly) comes from. The Booth is a taste of all that, and this month SOL GEMS have shared with us 5 tracks that they’re into, in no particular order:
GUM – ‘Gemini’
“Yeeeeos that synth bass is the real deal stuff! Very excited for this album to drop next week Friday.” – Pano [bass]
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Shakedown Street’
“Dare I say that it’s better than the original?! It’s as if Prince was reincarnated – crucial dance floor number.” – Pano
Petite Noir – ‘Down’
“The song for that point in the evening where you decided to stay out rather than go home and do that other important thing that you are definitely meant to have done by morning.” – Gabriel [drums]
General Electrics – ‘Raid the Radio’
“My boss showed me this recently as we were driving this week and I replayed it a few times – not many tracks capture one’s attention like that song – it’s just a very well written song.” – Stru [vocals + guitar]
MARUMO – ‘Khomo Tsaka Deile Kae?’
“Found this on vinyl a little while back. An all blind band from South Africa, this was released in 1982, MEGA GROOVE!” – Pano