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Deep Space Doom

Deep Space Doom

by Lize Kay / 05.10.2009

Six months ago, KIDOFDOOM visited us here in the Cape. Thereafter they locked themselves in the highest room of the tallest tower of a castle somewhere far far away to write some music, and they were quiet for some time. But they are back, launching their new album, ‘My Faith In War’, and though we missed them it was worth the wait…

Pulling off an all-instrumental band in a country with a fairly confused, messy music industry is quite an accomplishment, but where they lack lyrics they boast music that is unlike anything to have come out of South Africa before. With a sound they have dubbed ‘deep space champion pop’, the doomers have taken things to a whole new level with this album. With Sassquatch and Haezer joining the line-up, there really was nothing left to ask for. But I did note, more than ever, that Pretoria people and Cape Town people are not the same. Sassquatch has a crowd going mental up north. Trust me, I’ve been a victim of his rowdy followers. But the focialites in the mother city seemed wary of enjoying his music too much. A subtle tap of the feet should not suffice! The same thing seemed to happen when Haezer took to the stage after KIDOFDOOM’s set, and we concluded that perhaps it was all a bit too much. Too much of a good thing might just have literally blown your mind in this case.

KIDOFDOOM

The set was coupled with visuals that matched the music to perfection. Everything from psychedelic patterns to the somewhat disturbing and totally bizarre album photography and images of the end of the world. It added something new and beautiful, without distracting us from the music itself. On stage, these guys are simply themselves. Pretoria is as Pretoria does. The passion is palpable, and not only by keyboardist Richard Brokensha’s flagrant enthusiasm. There is a sense of total immersion in their music, and a sense of gratification in their attitude towards what they have produced. They are humbly proud of what they have created, and they have every right to be so.

KIDOFDOOM

The new album is torrential without being gloomy, heavy without weighing you down. There are brief moments of light that will bring you back down to earth, though mostly it is multi-layered and staggering. Some tracks have a fairly old-school sound to them that will take you back to the eighties, then forward to nineties Nintendo marathons, and then into the electric cosmos of the year 4000. The electronic sound is often quite ominous, but it is intercepted by unexpected moments of blues and dramatic build-ups that will transport you to a classic lightsaber battle in outer space, and you will win every time. There were moments where nobody knew what to do with it, and so mouths simply hung open in wonderment. Hearts burst and minds exploded, but while it may sound as though it were all too much, it was not. It was simply perfect, and the human mind seems to struggle with the idea of absolutes.

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RESPONSES (28)
  1. pieter says:

    what are focialites? did you mean socialites?

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  2. djf says:

    If I wanted a fawning portrayal of kidofdoom as a perfect, flawless creative unit I would be going to their website.

    @pieter – faux socialites perhaps?

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  3. Lize Kay says:

    Well, djf, if you wanted opinion you should have stayed away from Mahala. And yes, correct on the faux socialites thing.

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  4. pieter says:

    faux socialites…mmmm maybe they just wanted to smoke outside…

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  5. djf says:

    Well, I have often come to mahala to obtain a healthy amount of BALANCED opinion and the better-written pieces here have provided that while still managing to cast their subject matter in a positive light. Are kidofdoom truly perfect? Are they superhuman artists and musicians? If not then your article could have avoided a lot of the one-sided hyperbole that clouds what could have been a more incisive and subtle piece of journalism.

    And yes, please see this as positive criticism.

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  6. djf says:

    @pieter – “fumocialites” = smoking emo socialites?

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  7. Andy says:

    I doubt that’s the real Lize Kay… that’s just a hater pretending to be Lize to bash us. Because the real Lize Kay would know that we welcome and appreciate all balanced and thoughtful opinions. In fact it’s almost a prerequisite to writing for us. You have to have your own informed and developed opinions. And we want you to air them here. Not simply praise-worship and PR boost the greatness of local bands.

    However, in this case, DJF, she only had good things to say about KOD, because a) she loves them and b) she enjoyed the gig that much. We’re working on honing her senses of apathy, cynicism and disillusionment to better fit in with the other jaded journos who work here. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned KOD are a bit of a novelty band. They’re fun, interesting even, but I can’t really appreciate their wall of sound instrumentation without thinking, a la Montle Moorosi, that they would be better, tighter and more relevant if they had a vocalist like Sankomota. Or someone who can channel Jerry Garcia. And it’s weird because I’m not that much of a fan of Isochronous either.

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  8. Lize Kay says:

    No, Lize Kay [here I am. The real one] would say, djf, if you can’t handle others’ opinions, don’t read Mahala. because that what it is all about. As much as you don’t have to agree with someone [heaven forbid you should], you cannot get upset by what they think. And yes, Andy is correct. I was always a fan but this new album blew me away, and they moved way up my list of favourite bands, the gig as one of my top gigs for this year, if not ever. And that is why I wrote a review this positive. believe it or not, I do not always only ever write positive things.

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  9. Doctor L. says:

    @djf

    Dude, you done been complaining.

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  10. Doctor L. says:

    Just listened to kidofdoom for the first time.

    ‘Socialight’

    Fuck it, Sankomota would be perfect.

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  11. djf says:

    A few months back I commented in Mahala’s defense when a review of the LifeCheck event was posted. I remarked that way too many review pieces in the SA cultural media read like promotional copy rather than more neutral and balanced commentary from an outside observer. As a result our music-supporting public and those involved in the industry are often taken aback when honest and less complimentary opinion pieces do find their way into the media. But it is often these more “maverick” accounts that are the most informative, particularly for those readers who do not know the artist or piece of work under review.

    Well, to my eyes Lize’s review unfortunately reads a lot like the industry-sponsored blurb that has masked the more crucial journalism in such short supply here. I have no doubt that she is in awe of the band and that her senses were transported at the event, but maybe we should question whether a relentless string of near-cliched superlatives genuinely serves the interests of the reader in this case – particularly when they are presented in a style so beloved of the marketing gurus who would have us buy their product at all costs.

    Unfortunately many a journalist in SA makes a living out of writing promotional copy for the marketing arm of the music business. Unfortunately many of them probably do this a lot more often than they get to write openly and honestly about bands that they like. Maybe there is a kneejerk tendency to employ that same technique whenever the “universally positive coverage” mode is engaged, even though the media context may be quite different.

    So Lize, it’s not that I can’t handle your opinion, it’s just that I’m disappointed by the hackneyed way in which you chose to express it. If you find the craft and originality of kidofdoom inspiring, wouldn’t it be great if that inspiration extended to the manner in which you chose to express yourself?

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  12. Breathe says:

    I really wanted to like Kid of Doom. But having just returned from their myspace page, I’m so thoroughly unimpressed, and all my distaste is vindicated. The fact is, their music isn’t this wonderfully evocative and atmospheric magic- it actually significantly sounds like its lacking a vocalist. There are all these trite, uninspired passages where I think to myself, “some vocals would go nice here.” They’re a gimmicky, indie-rock band without vocals. And all those sort of space-age, cosmic sounds… they don’t actually move me. I’ve heard a lot of electronica that actually inspired some very primal or spaced out feelings to me, in a very genuine and human sense. When I listen to Kid of Doom, I can hear fashion (not passion, to indulge a very silly desire to rhyme with reason)- I can hear the conscious efforts of that self-deluded, grandiose pseudo-intellectual richard brokensha trying to be inventive, intelligent and beyond. And it doesn’t work for me. Which is a shame.

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  13. Lize Kay says:

    You’re right, djf. I wrote this in a bit of a rush, to be honest. Kid of Doom does inspire me [They’re the best at what they do], but get real: when you’re working for Mahala, which doesn’t pay, you aren’t going to use all your energies on crafting the best journalism. I’ll save that for a magazine that actually matters… and that keeps me in cocktails.

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  14. Kate says:

    I have been reading the Mahala gig reviews and album reviews over the past few weeks but I have been checking the site less and less frequently.
    In my opinion, as I regular reader of Mahala it would be of more value to the readers if the content was correct, less promotional fan hyperbole to encourage us to read the articles instead of rather returning to other publications with better quality writing. I understand that this is more likely to be achieved by paying the contributors to give them incentive to not rush their articles.

    I am sure there is soon going to be a reply comment back saying ‘if you don’t like the writing style then don’t visit the site at all’ but that is my opinion.

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  15. Roger Young says:

    Part of the reason for us creating mahala is tp try figure out what precisely what is lacking in SA music and cultural journalisim right now. This thread has more than outlined everything thing we need to address. We thank you whole heartedly for these notes.

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  16. Lize Kay says:

    This may seem a silly question, but how many of you were at the gig?

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  17. Andy says:

    I think we’ve been focussing too much on quantity and not enough on quality… thanks for the feedback

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  18. Kurt says:

    Personally I think this is pretty sad.

    A group of people work their asses off and fly across the country to try give kids something different. Someone that really enjoy it writes about how special it was to her, and then a gang of haters rip her to shreds for not been critical enough of the night?

    South Africa has so little media that even pays any attention to what bands like Kidofdoom have been pouring their hearts and souls into the past few years. There are people that have been killing themselves putting together audio-visual experiences like this for pretty much zero recognition outside of the response of the kids at the shows on the nights.

    I think it’s great that Mahala could be a platform for one of those kids to share what something that really meant something to them, especially if it’s something that you wouldn’t really read about anywhere else.

    I just think it’s really sad that people like rjf would rather see more cynicism than enthusiasm…

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  19. Steven says:

    none of this is really important. you all know this right? I was at the gig. I was outside most of the night though. so was lize… tisk tisk naughty “journalist”… 🙂

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  20. djf says:

    Kurt, please read previous comments on this thread carefully before you engage your indignation. Nowhere was kidofdoom’s performance, their dedication or the commitment of their accessory department criticized.

    The only thing criticized was the quality of Lize’s writing and she has since agreed that it was below par. I did not take her to task for being positive about the band, just the way in which she expressed it.

    Please consider that a more focused, original and creative account of her experience may well have been a better advert for the band. Yes, there is a win-win scenario in here if people choose to step outside of their preconceptions and one-dimensional ideas about what “positive” journalism should entail.

    I invite you to read my comments again carefully and consider the likelihood that someone else is not automatically a “hater” because they see the situation differently to you.

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  21. Lize Kay says:

    She has not agreed to anything. Someone is stealing ID on this site. This ‘Lize Kay’ has been out-geeked, posting also under three other names. Shall I blow your cover now or later?

    Basically, I like Mahala as a site. And I like writing for it. This little girl doens’t need the money, and if I wanted to stop I would just stop, no? I wouldn’t stupidly burn the bridge, as in the above post on October 5th at 5:19 by Not Lize Kay.

    To the very mature stealer of ID, kidofdoom is ONE WORD. Not three. Mooi slim. Almost as smart as being caught behaving like a child and not using a real name, moreover using the actual writer’s name.

    And now, I am done fighting with children over opinions. I attended the launch [twice, (Steven, which is why this chain smoker took a smoke break) and the above is a write-up of what the launch gigs and the album did to ME.

    LK [The real fucking deal].

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  22. djf says:

    Andy, I’m very fucking confused now. Perhaps you could delete those comments that are a clear case of “stolen identity”?

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  23. Steven says:

    fair enough…

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  24. Andy says:

    It’s a tough one djf. we’ve got a policy of non-interference on the message boards. We want people to feel free to comment and see their nom de plumes and comments go live immediately. The only thing we delete is spam and gratuitous link posting. One link is ok though.

    When people decide to misrepresent themselves it’s normally to get a rise or just slam the site. It’s a classic FLAME ruse. The only thing we can do is just be vigilant and respond to them. What I can do from my side is block the IPs of repeat offending ID thieves.

    And the two Lize Kays are definitely posting from different IPs.

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  25. kwallace says:

    Personally, I think it’s difficult to critique kidofdoom as a band, you haven’t seen them live. Going onto their Myspace page and listening to a few songs that they posted doesn’t nearly compare to their live perfromances, which for me, are what make me love the band. If I hadn’t seen them perform I would probably think a lot less of them, than I do now, and think that they are in need of a vocalist, but the truth is that I couldn’t think of anything that would detract more from their music, than a few stanzas of lyrics.

    I saw them perform their first song with vocals at Oppikoppi this year, and sure it was spectacular to be there will thousands of other people, lining up half an hour before their performance just to get a prime piece of grass to stand on and watch, but I much prefer their vocal-less songs, where the “deep space champion-pop” truly shines through.

    This comment has nothing to do with the integrity of the article, because I loved the article and could totally relate to the experience of having a Doom high. I’m proud to call myself a Doomer.

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  26. Ally says:

    * I suspect that when djf is not chilling on his throne, with a crown and banner reading ‘ King Of The Internet’, demonstrating perfect diction to a bunch of kids who just don’t really care all that much, he’s suffering flashbacks and nightmares of the million wedgies he received throughout the course of his life(less existence).

    I think you’re an arrogant dork, trying to groom the impression of faux-intellegence.
    However, being well-spoken doesn’t brush the hours and hours and hours you spend on the internet, streaming free Milf Porn, under the bed – along with your jizz stained boxers.

    You’re hated by people in the real world. This becomes blatant and obvious every time you hit Submit Comment.

    Jeez. Nihilsm my ass, you pointless, polarizing fuckwad.

    Do something nice.
    Say something nice.

    Stop being a spiteful little dweeb and realize that your opinion may be noticed by a few kids who happen to be online whenever you decided to share it, but it’s forgotten the second they get up to go make a PB&J sandwich and jam xBox.

    Seriously. Dudes are just talking about bands they like.

    You’re growing on people’s nerves.

    * (Yes, I am chasing you. I am fucking psycho, and very fucking angry that I have now become a needless asshole like you; one who talks shit on the internet and gets off on writing stupid comments, ripping on dudes for no real reason)

    Now I suck too.
    Shot.

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  27. Ally says:

    Wait…

    Personal attacks?
    I don’t know you.

    I’m sorry. I am being juvenile and very stupid.

    Criticism is cool. But hey, sometimes you have to let it slide and be cool with whatever people are saying. They’re just sharing their opinions on the internet, not trying come off as articulate or smart.

    Just, it sucks being so quick to shut people down. Constantly.

    But yeah, I kooked out really hard.
    Sorry ous.

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  28. Ally says:

    Also, Mahala, you guys are awesome.

    Content is great, and the reviews are honest and personal – which is great as well.

    The writers don’t have to subscribe to typical journalistic standards or regulations to be considered good – or even competent.

    The write-ups on this site ARE quality. The quantity is a bonus.

    Also, you seem to put up with shit from dudes like djf,
    as well as embarassing burps from stupid little fucks like me.

    Noble, dude.

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