Showing posts with label kwaito. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kwaito. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

video review: 'egomaniac' by KONGOS

And that's two. Fantastic record, just a shade away from being a shoe-in from the best of the year, really did love it.

Next up... well, that Jon Bellion album looks interesting, but Brandy Clark deserves attention too... well, we'll see. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 13, 2016

album review: 'egomaniac' by KONGOS

So one of the easiest benefits of being a music critic is that you tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to whatever eventually hits the mainstream or the radio, but that's not saying I can't get surprised. And in 2014, that definitely happened thanks to a quiet rerelease from a newly picked up South African band called KONGOS and their massive sleeper hit 'Come With Me Now', a track that never got huge in the US except on the rock charts but was nearly inescapable in Canada - and since the song was absolutely awesome and ended up topping my list for my favourite hit songs of 2014, I had no problem whatsoever with that.

And yet it didn't seem like KONGOS was able to notch a second hit in Canada... and going into their discography, I can explain why. KONGOS is a band of four brothers and even in the style of blending alternative rock with kwaito - a South African style of sampling and looping that's closest to probably UK garage - they're a weird as hell group. For one, they've got a knack for off-kilter melodic grooves with a surprising amount of grime, and yet their production is often clean and spacious enough to highlight some pretty damn great hooks... and that's before they introduce the pedal steel, accordion, inverted samples, and an uncanny ability to leap from groove to groove. Coupled with lyrics that are smarter than you'd ever expect and a hell of a lead performance from Dylan Kongos, the band released their sophomore album Lunatic in 2012 in South Africa before self-releasing it a year later in the states, and yet just before the band was about to give up and move on to new material, Epic found them, signed them, and re-released Lunatic to press their advantage. And for a rock band in 2014, the level of mainstream success 'Come With Me Now', which went platinum as a single, was both thrilling and dangerous - even though I'd make the argument KONGOS were far more than a novelty and had serious chops, the eclectic instrumentation and demented subject matter meant that they had to stick the landing or risk being branded as one-trick ponies. So did they pull it off with their newest record Egomaniac?