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Fabrics of the Heart

Fabrics of the Heart

by Dave Durbach / 19.08.2010

Like German reggae or Afrikaans country, music that struggles to keep it real is always easy to bash, usually for good reason. American accents, for example, are nothing new to South African music. And they’re always kak.

But when an act is half American, things change. Sounding American no longer has the same baggage attached when the singer is American. Adjectives like ‘insincere’ or ‘wannabe’ soon get replaced by ‘well travelled’ or ‘global’.

This is definitely the case for Liquideep. The locally based house duo have just launched their much-anticipated debut album, after already being nominated for the SAMA song of the year last year for “Fairytale” and garnering remixes from international house DJs.

Thabo ‘Ryzor’ Shokgolo and Jonathan ‘Ziyon’ Hamilton make up Liquideep. Ryzor handles most of the production – stripped down, downtempo, local house grooves. Over this his American partner delivers slick but generic R&B vocals ala other wildly popular panty-moistening crooners like John Legend.

The production is tasteful – it’s house music minus any doof doof. Be that as it may, this doesn’t mean that the beats aren’t still repetitive – but that’s house music for you. And seeing as though each song is mixed to flow seamlessly into the next, one might say the whole album contains about the amount of originality or skill required for one non-house song. But that would be too harsh. And again – that’s house for you. Interestingly, so locked to this formula are the duo that the only song that attempts anything different – the more heavily R&B incluenced reprise to their old hit Fairtytale – is labeled a ‘bonus’ track.

It’s undeniably ladies’ music, with Ziyon checking every hackneyed love song cliché in the book. And as much as it inspires images of greasy chicks gyrating in slow motion, asses bouncing to the beat, its more likely to appeal to lonely teenage girls in the bedrooms, sulking that their big sister stole their John Legend CD.

Ziyon’s lyrics may be corny as anything (“You Got It Going On”, “Angel”) but the flipside of this is that it’s in English that everyone can understand and latch onto.

If this album were only a few songs long, it wouldn’t be half bad. The way it drags on for no particular reason reeks of a lack of inspiration or a fear of innovation. But songs like “BBM”, “Settle for Less”, “Dream” (with its simple uplifting message) and “Alright” are all so inoffensive and mindless, yet so slick and catchy, that even I could listen to them all day without ever really getting tired of them.

Not unlike Locnville, the final product is designed to appeal to the widest possible market. It’s local, it’s international, it’s real. It’s not too American for people here not to be able to relate. Neither is it too ayoba for everyone else to ignore.

If ever there was such a thing as ‘one size fits all’ music, then this is it.

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RESPONSES (13)
  1. boetie soetmelk says:

    Would be interested to know what Max thinks of this review.

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  2. Lizzy says:

    this sounds like music i would deeply dislike. well considered review, though.

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  3. Phumlani says:

    ouch

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  4. Riky Rick says:

    This is fo def the best dance album this year!!

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  5. Roya Varjavandi says:

    “seeing as though each song is mixed to flow seamlessly into the next, one might say the whole album contains about the amount of originality or skill required for one non-house song”

    do you normally listen to house? on most house albums each song is mixed into the next. duh.
    track 8 ‘Alone’ would be killer as the next single

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  6. Hausjunky says:

    i love this album,every single track on this album is a potential hit…
    my album of the year *true story*

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  7. BM says:

    Believe it or not Mahala, there are people out there that can write insightfully and intelligently about dance music. The fact that you haven’t found any yet is no reason to stop trying. They’re out there I promise you.

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  8. ferra says:

    guys ths s th way, bid up yurslfs. i enjoy listnn to ths…..

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  9. gza says:

    i enjoy listening 2 your track and you realy do it for me you rock big time

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  10. Mpho Moahloli says:

    Track 5!, a hell of a killer track.I wudnt skip a day without listening to it.

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  11. Mpume says:

    It is a very lekker album with the nice tune to dance to

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  12. Mamuhle says:

    Ahh man jst wanna sy u rock guys bid up

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