The South African psychedelic-indie band The Plastics were introduced in late 2014.
The Plastics – In Threes – artwork
A live version of the sixth track of the nine on the LP In Threes – All I Really Want was recently captured in London (England).
Glittering guitars light up the room in a version of All I Really Want that is played slightly more slowly than on the album (which is available on bandcamp), as the vocal lays filtered through echoing voile whilst drums and bass register changes in tempo.
An email languishing in my inbox since last month has seen John Mcginto release a further two tracks, such is his mine of creativity, the most recent of which is the four and two-thirds minutes Woe Woe Woe which permeates the room with dank moss as the looping swagger of the guitar is punctuated by malevolent bass and a percussion that clings to the walls in abandoned angularity.
John doesn’t seek to make the life of the audience comfortable as the maths-rock instrumentation filtrates from regions unbidden, enveloping the listener in a damp cloak of misery.
I look forward to hearing more of John Mcginto and his societal commentary during 2016.
The Plastics from Cape Town in South Africa is the Indie quartet of Pascal Righini, Karl Rohloff, Sasha Righini and Emile Van Dango.
A melting-pot of metamorphic rock hewn with seams of gold to purify emerge, on hitting play, with The Plastics. Underneath the glistening tabula rasa which serves a radio audience, lay considered compositions when you take the time to excavate.
Conglomerations of screeching chord change, which you well know serve as an arbiter for me, are subsumed with smartly pressed programmed beats. It is the polarisation of the bland pop pre-programming with flashes of earthy grittiness that fascinates me about The Plastics and while much of the material can be by-passed with nary a nod, it is when you find the nuggets that makes taking the time to mine the out-put far more than a futile trawl.
With no doubt I would wish for more material that was of intrinsic value, but perhaps for the very vagaries of out-put that The Plastics becomes a band of some fascination.
As always, if I didn’t think they were worth exploring I wouldn’t ask you to spend the time with The Plastics. Once they have set a keel for musical intent then it will be time to take a retrospective, unsurprisingly I hope they loose the pre-ordained – here is a hit beat – with more of the – here is what we think, time will tell.
Emma Hearne from Johannesburg in South Africa is the alt-folk duo of Emma Hearne and Sarah.
There is a hauntingly beautiful resonance that filters into the room on listening to Emma Hearne as the guitar weaves its way intricately around the corners, exploring every space.
As regular readers know I often rave about how piano or violin adds a sonorous depth to compositions, equally a softly played guitar where the scratches of chord shifts can be clearly distinguished adds a connectivity that you just don’t want to end. Folk influences are combined with local beats to afford an out-put that inveigles into the head the longer played.
Alongside the guitars a keyboard adds a lustre to the sound which captivates the ears. Tracks appear with or without vocal and each is replete as stands, which is a testament to a creator who appreciates less often means more.
Emma Hearne create music that demands the listener stops other activity to gain maximum value and spending time with the lights down low without distraction, is time well spent.
In a genre of music that I rarely find much interest I raise my hat to Emma Hearne and long may the songs continue.
A couple of tracks – one without vocal the other with voice.
Ras Kayaga from Kigali in Rwanda is a reggae singer songwriter.
Singing in Kinyarwanda the reggae derived material finds its way into the head like a diamond tipped drill-bit as the sounds resonate of a country still in turmoil dealing with differences much of the rest of the world can only vaguely appreciate.
Other than reggae off-beat, which regular readers well know always strikes a chord, Ras Kayaga offers music of positivity and realism, which I find as I type as such a contrast to the sounds of suburban wannabe gangsters in safe homes – aka – hip-hop / rap and the banality of the plastic out-put of major label ‘angst’. This is music directly from the heart connecting with the audience in a very simple and unpretentious way.
As to be anticipated, by an underground act in the underground music of Rwanda, material is scarce and not of great recorded quality. For me the quality of recording is never an issue, as you well know, it is all about the genuine chords being struck and I proffer Ras Kayaga as a sound with much to add to the value to the musical tapestry.