1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Toe Vind Ek Jou”

Ek Wil Net Huis Toe Gaan – Koos Kombuis & David Kramer

Langpad Na Lekkersing - Koos Kombuis

Langpad Na Lekkersing – Koos Kombuis

Is there some rule written somewhere that if you record a phenomenally good Afrikaans song then the video has to involve a lot of lights all over the place as the 2 best Afrikaans songs I have ever heard – Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid’s ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ and Koos Kombuis & David Kramer’s ‘Ek Wil Net Huis Toe Gaan’ – both had a light motif going on in the videos.

It also seems that teaming up with someone else helps create brilliant songs as in 2015 the relative new comers to the music scene, van Coke & Zoid, showed the way and then the 2 legends, Kombuis and Kramer, said, well if the lighties can do it, so can we.

‘Ek Wil Net Huis Toe Gaan’ is an extremely beautiful song that talks of a longing to return home, although as both the artists on the track are getting on in years, it could also just be talking about retiring (please don’t guys, but if you do we’ll understand). ‘Ek is so moeg van die stress/ek is nou oud en bles/Nou will ek ophou werk en my das uittrek/ek wil net huis toe gaan’ tells of Kombuis’ tiredness and the gently plucked guitar set against a muted organ sound seems to echo the state of mind of the singers. Their rock ‘n’ roll days are over and the only rocking they want to do is on the chair on the front veranda.

Neither Kombuis not Kramer could be said to have the greatest singing voices, but the almost whispered vocals from Kombuis and the somewhat gravelly baritone of Kramer weave themselves within the magic of this track perfectly. If these 2 legends bow out of the music business with this, it would be an extremely high note on which to do so. They have been leading lights in the Afrikaans music scene for a number of decades now. Perhaps only Kombuis’ ‘Lisa Klavier’ and Kramer’s ‘Prisoners Of War’ could challenge for the title of the most beautiful tracks by these artists, but, in my opinion, this one take the honours.

Where to find it:
Langpad na Lekkersing – Koos Kombuis (2016), Select Music Distribution, KKCD10

Video:

Toe Vind Ek Jou – Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

This is what it has all been about. Anton Goosen’s ‘Bloemetjie Gedenk Aan Jou’, Bernoldus Niemand, Koos Kombuis, Johannes Kerkorrel and the whole Voelvry movement, the blues guys like Valiant Swart, Piet Botha and Die Blues Broers, Arno Carstens and the Springbok Nude Girls, Afrikaans punk from Fokofpolsiekar. All of these guys were building up to this one perfect Afrikaans song.

‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ is undoubtedly the best Afrikaans song I have heard. It has everything, atmosphere, emotion, a great tune, brilliant vocals and harmonising. It is no wonder that at the time of writing this, the Youtube video had already had over 4.6 million views and spawned numerous cover versions (the Varsity Sing version is one of the better ones). In comparison Bok van Blerk’s ‘De La Rey’ which was also hugely popular and which has been around a lot longer only has 1.6 million views. I had sort of got to thinking that there were no surprises left in the Afrikaans music world but ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ proved me wrong I’m pleased to say.

This song with its almost understated soft drumming highlights the talents of 2 leading lights of South African music. Francois van Coke found his way to this song via the noise of Fokofpolisiekar and the heavy rock of van Coke Kartel while Karen Zoid has been ploughing her own furrow as our foremost ‘rock chick’ for a good while now. And while ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ is essentially a ballad, there is a feeling of a tension underlying the vocals and the lyrics hint that this relationship was not always a bed of roses. The first line ‘Ek lê my wapens neer’ (‘I lay down my arms’) introduces the surrender of the couple to their love which has survived a stormy relationship and as they have matured the anger of youth has dwindled and they are left clinging to each other. Possibly the best moment in the song is when Francois and Karen sing the lines ‘Ek het genoeg gegee, Ek het genoeg geskree, Ek het lankal terug geleer’ the second time around when Karen’s higher pitched voice goes head to head with Francois’ gravelly one and the result is something quite beautiful.

There are no pretensions in this song but plenty of control. Zoid and van Coke could have been tempted to make this just another Afrikaans rock song, but somehow they turned it into something special.

I have gone back to wondering if there will now be no further surprises coming from the Afrikaans music scene in South Africa, but I’m a little less certain of myself this time round.

Where to find it:
Francois van Coke – Francis van Coke (2015)

Video:

Varsity sing version:

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