1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Theo Crous”

Muur – Chris Chameleon

Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou - Chris Chameleon

Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou – Chris Chameleon

By the time Chris Chameleon released his album ‘Kyk Hoe Lyk Ons Nou’, he had made a name for himself as a solo artist. Gone are the quirky punky sounds from his Boo! days (except for the cheeky ‘Apie’) and we now find a maturing musician who is performing some of the most polished work of his career. Having Springbok Nude Girls’ Adriaan Brand and Theo Crous help out on the album with Crous producing it, certainly helps.

‘Muur’ (which translates as ‘Wall’) is probably the stand out track on the album. It features orchestral sounds over which Chameleon stretches his vocal range, moving comfortably between the mid-range verses to the soaring higher-register chorus which helps the song soar. It does not, however, visit the outer reaches of his amazing range, but the song doesn’t call for this. It is a serious song and has an aching longing feel to it made more pertinent by lines like ‘en soms verbeel ek my dat ek dit met eimand deel’ (and sometimes I imagine that I share this with somebody).

There is a melancholic feel to the track, something you would not have found in his work with Boo! but can be seen in some of the Nude Girls’ work like ‘Blue Eyes’. But where the Nude Girls would generally have been more hard hitting, Chameleon keeps this on the pop level. It is a song to float along gently with, perhaps thinking about life and all it means, or just losing oneself in the beauty of the music.

Walls can keep things in or keep things out and this song gives you the option be introspective and use it as a soundtrack to your thoughts, or you can look outward to the vastness of the world that is out there and let the song take you into those spaces beyond. Either way you use the song, one has to acknowledge that it is another brick in the wall of hits that Chris Chameleon has brought us. It is a track to check out, however, if you have already heard ‘Muur’, then I guess you don’t need no education.

Where to find it:
Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou – Chris Chameleon (2009) Rhyhtm Records, RR98


Sondagmiddag – Kobus!

Kobus! - Kobus!

Kobus! – Kobus!

A few years after the Springbok Nude Girls split for the first time, the band’s guitarist Theo Crous hooked up with Voice of Destruction’s Francois Breyenbach and formed a band called Kobus! (or sometimes K.O.B.U.S.!). Their debut album ‘Kobus!’ opened with the track ‘Wie Is Kobus!’ which fades out with the question ‘Wie is Kobus!’ being asked over and over again in a whispered, slightly menacing way. And many of us did ask that question because there was something weird yet strangely alluring about what one was hearing.

But those who knew who made up the band would have perhaps been a bit puzzled by the sound because it was neither the Slipknot-ish metal of Voice of Destruction nor the grungy sounds of that we knew and loved from the Nude Girls. This is far more relaxed music and with a title like ‘Sondagmiddag’ (Sunday Afternoon), the 4th track from their debut album, was bound to be laid back. While very different sounding, it sort of captures the same sentiments that Quentin E. Klopjaeger’s ‘Lazy Life’ does, staring with a gentle guitar over the sounds of a family sitting around in the back yard enjoying a braai. It’s relaxed and there is an Ultravox-esque synth sound sailing gently by.

But why would fans of of the Springbok Nude Girls and Voice Of Destruction go for this kind of music. Well, I am not sure that the latter would really like this, but Nude Girl fans would recognise the same feeling in this as there is in some of the quieter moments of the Nude Girl’s songs. Perhaps the most attractive thing for those fans is the half whispered vocals which give the song a slightly disturbing edge. ‘Lazy Life’ was a simple pop tune but, if one wanted to, one could almost imagine that this braai that Kobus! sings about is behind held at Hannibal Lecter’s house but the other guest don’t know what has been used to make the wors.

‘Kobus!’ certainly introduced us to a new sound which had some scratching their heads, some getting it and some just enjoying it. So lay back and enjoy a relaxed ‘Sondagmiddag’, but careful what you eat.

Where to find it:
Kobus! – Kobus! (2002), ENT Entertainment, CDENT001


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