Look Mom No Handsby Dave Durbach / 22.12.2009
From humble beginnings seven years ago on campus radio and in Long Street dives, Mix ‘n Blend’s rep has grown with their sound, increasingly incorporating live sonic experimentation and collaborations. Innovative skills and tasteful mashups have put them several notches above your standard laptop selektas and in demand at club and festival gigs around Mzansi. Now they’re ready for the next chapter, the release of a debut album, Look Mom No Hands.
It’s an album that pulls no punches, drawing on a host of influences to create one cohesive feel – a decidedly playful, upbeat vibe that will appeal to a wide spectrum of music fans: breakbeat, electro, hip-hop, dubstep and dancehall. Even for fans of local house and kwaito, there’s something here. The common denominator is that each song is tighter than pubic cornrows. More electronic tracks like the album opener “Bass Niddies” and “Morphed Code” are sure to get seizures from discerning dancefloors. Best of all, the Cape-based threesome have beefed up their sound by getting a host of top musos on board, including Pedro Da Silva Pinto from 340ml (vocals on the hypnotic “Sunday Afternoon Dub”), Mother City stalwart Farrel Adams (“Lazy Friday Sounds” and “Out of Line”) and former Godessa MC EJ von Lyrik (“Tantrum” and “Champion Sound”). Plenty of live horns (“Full Ahead” and “Out of Line”) are a nod to Cape Town’s prolific Ska scene. The only dud on the album is the downtempo, string-based wankfest “First Light”. Other than that, this is a great album that puts Cape Town firmly back on the map in terms of innovative, intelligent electronic music. It’s vintage African Dope – slick beats, fat basslines, plenty of ganja and a dash of swing for good measure. No one does it like the boys from African Dope. Look Mom No Hands fits like a glove.