Tananas harnessed the incredible guitar skills of Steve Newman to the thudding bass of Gito Baloi and had it underpinned by solid drumming from Ian Herman and occasionally, just occasionally, added some vocals from Gito Baloi. ‘Nada’ was one of those were Gito’s high pitched and somewhat ethereal vocals got a work out.
While Steve plays a happy-go-lucky melody which is drenched in Africa, Gito with his Mozambiquean roots brings a soulful and echo-ey otherworldyness to the song. It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon stoll along a street in downtown Johannesburg clashing with a wind that whistles as a eagle soars through the clear blue African sky over the Kruger National Park.
The title of the song, ‘Nada’ is a bit of a misnomer and this is certainly not nothing. This is something of beauty, a well constructed song that opened Tananas’ eponyolusly titled debut album. It essentially would have been the first track you heard if you had bought the album based on reviews rather than hearing the band. And you could hardly ask for a better introduction. Maybe the ‘Nada’ was saying ‘there is nothing better than this’, although there is a sense of nothingness in the floating vocals that accompany the musicians.
Tananas were a remarkable group and their music still sounds fresh and interesting all these years later. They went from Nada to something in 0 to 1 songs.
Where to find it:
Tananas – Tananas (1988), Shifty, CDSHIFT(WL)26