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Isochronous

There Is Audience

by Roger Young, images by Peter Reyneke / 21.09.2010

Kids are literally chomping at the bit to get into Merc. I don’t know if it’s the prospect of this being an Isochronous “farewell” gig (Hey! You’ll be back before the end of October you super enthusiastic freaks, not exactly forever right?) or the hype building around the two support acts. Anaphys kept a solid attack on the PR slash social net vibes in the months building up to their launch gig at Albert Hall a few weeks ago and have been received well. Bateleur have been taking the mystery route, playing a gig here or there and vanishing; maybe it’s their instrumental vibes but, when reverently described by the music geeks, no one seems to be able to tell me exactly what kind of music they play. Whatever it was, it works because from nine thirty people are already in let’s-get-this-show-started mode.

Bateleur come on strong; rhythm section heavy and swift changing, the keys, trumpet, guitars and viola are mostly just texture at this point. It gets all maths folk rock; which makes sense because Bateleur all look like they’ve been clothes shopping at the Wiliamsburg Maths Folk Rock store. Slowly all the instruments, including the spooky voice bits and the lead guitarist’s fringe begin to play equal parts (all, except the trumpeter, who is less present) in the orchestral constructions. Instantly the crowd eats the Battles-esque pace of it all up. There is something deeply exciting about Bateluer at first, genuine music nerds closing their eyes, feeling the music and punching out solid technically challenging music; but three songs in and it starts to feel thin like they’re not really engaging the crowd. It doesn’t stop the first half of their set being mesmerizing. The lead guitarist shreds like a motherfucker and the keys player jams like Ray Manzerak on mushrooms, but without lyrics to hang onto, nor any straight up melodies to hook attention to, the novelty of Bateleur starts to wear thin. They’re the kind of band that would have gone down really well at The Armchair Theatre, if it was still around; surrounded by Obs beatniks and being allowed to experiment freely with no one really paying attention. But right now instrumental prog is high on the radar and Bateleur are going to need to be more than just great, experimental music students with amazing hair and a cool dress sense to capture a slice of the public imagination, I mean,
ask Kidofdoom or Benguela.

Bateleur

After an exceptionally long wait for their errant guitarist to pitch up, Tim Lester leads Anaphys’ new romantic rocky hallelujah prog onto stage like the bionic leader of a race of undersea fish-men. As well rehearsed, as super post prog and Tool-like they are, Anaphys still come across as embryonic, a mix of complex instrumentalisation and over keen-nees; like they need more audience time blended into the music to perfect the balance of delivery. Lester’s performance is alien and weirdly sexy but his voice is low or lost in the mix and he seems to be performing at and not with the crowd. It could be that the excessive wait has prejudiced me against them but their waves upon waves of epic laser beam music, even if cleanly delivered and technically sharp, start to dull my hearing after a while. I’m watching them thinking that they could be as good as Muse and then I remember that I fucking hate Muse.

Anaphys

Isochronous immediately show the younger bands what they’re lacking; from the second they open with “White City”, they jam with the audience like a fifth band member, making the Merc a stadium with their space jazz rock. Before the first chorus hits, the crowd is air punching like Pavlov’s dogs. By the second song, as one voice howling: “We cannot win, against this storm”. Down stage front, it has already got ecstatic. Really it’s a mistake to call the crowd the fifth band member because Isochronous play as one person, bonded together through many shows, they’re like the melodic borg of prog, four people subsumed into one unit, taking over the consciousness of the crowd making them, one by one, part of them. From the metal dudes slow head banging off to the side to the over enthusiastic philosophy students in boho chic, from the fat music journos mouthing the words to the twirling earthdance escapees, all those in direct contact with the stage seem hypnotized. Isochronous re-version their more popular songs so that, almost every time you see them, they’re playing the choruses that everyone knows but taking slightly different routes to get there. The songs are strong enough as they are but the changing of the journey makes them new and familiar every time. They might have started out as post-prog but they’ve slipped away from their Mew roots and are carving out their own space.

Isochronous

Gravity lags, feels langorous, a miasma of a rendition, maybe purposefully because it provides respite from the onslaught but in this moment attention starts to slip, only to be saved by a heroic guitar solo from Brokensha, leaning back on his knees into the spirals, jazz mouthing the chords as he goes, with Schoeman backing him on throbbing bass and matching lean. Sometime in the course of either “Into the Tide” or “The Attic” some guy jumps on stage to dive as they do some kind of cyclical thing, he stutters on the edge of the stage waiting for it to break, the movement repeats, he almost jumps, he looks back at them, at the Balkan cave man on drums, senses the break coming but it doesn’t, not yet and then finally they let him go, flinging him into the lights and waiting hands. 

During “Secret Connection” the audience ooooo’s along so strongly that Brokensha exclaims “everyone here must come do backing vocals on our next album”. The crowing glory is a long, clean and tricky version of “Beauty Queen”, it’s masterful, rolling and, in the true sense of the word, epic. Parker, bubbly and geeky, comes out from behind his keyboard and points/conducts the sea of crowd where it’s gone way beyond mere air punching, urging them on through the spiraling upwardness toward the heavenward plea.

And then it’s encore time but they don’t come back, the crowd seem sated, people drag themselves away from the stage, half hearted attempts to clap them back on break out limply but it’s not enough, they do not return, they have exhausted the audience and they know it, because for the for the entire set they were part of them. Isochronous know themselves too well to overplay their hand.

*All images © Peter Reyneke.

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RESPONSES (59)
  1. AlainWilliam says:

    I’m curious: what exactly is “prog” about Anaphys? (Not an attack on Roger, but that word seems to be thrown around quite a bit, and I’m curious as to what people associate with “prog”).

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  2. Andy says:

    kind of a misnomer referring vaguely to progressive rock n roll.

    Progressive rock (also referred to as prog rock or prog) is a subgenre of rock music that evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a “mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility.”
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prog-rock

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  3. Estelle says:

    I enjoyed the show – Anaphys and Isochronous. Bateleur seemed a bit weird

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  4. AlainWilliam says:

    Andy, that’s also what I would associate with “prog”, but I heard absolutely nothing progressive about Anaphys at all, so I’m wondering what it is about them that people link to “prog”.

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  5. Roger Young says:

    By their own definition Anaphys are post progressive rock.

    Prog, the label refers to any rock music which attempts to push rock’s technical and compositional boundaries. That’s Rock, not Jazz. And Anaphys are doing that. Hence the term.

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  6. Des says:

    Alain: What prog are you listening to? Ever heard Karnivool? Mars Volta? Porcupine Tree? Why don’t you listen to the band before jumping on that high horse.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Alain, wasn’t at the gig… Roger’s got the answers

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  8. AlainWilliam says:

    I’m glad you included “attempts” in that last paragraph. I see no boundaries that they’re actually pushing but maybe that’s just me.

    Also, who cares what they call themselves? I could write country songs and record them to a tape-deck, refer to my music as psychedelic trip-hop and it wouldn’t make it so.

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  9. AlainWilliam says:

    @Des, I was at the show, and did unfortunately have to suffer through Anaphys.

    Also, yes, I have heard The Mars Volta as well as Porcupine Tree. The prog I listen to is more in the vein of King Crimson, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis etc. But that’s really neither here nor there. I listen to a lot of “progressive” music that wouldn’t be dubbed prog at all.

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  10. Seth89 says:

    lol I wonder if Isochronus is gonn have a comeback show

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  11. Roger Young says:

    I probably could have been clearer. I think Anaphys veer more toward what we would call straight up rock at this point. I shouldn’t have inserted that “Hallelujah” between “Rocky Prog”.

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  12. Des says:

    Alain: fair enough. Music is music. Labels are just that. Labels

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  13. AlainWilliam says:

    Roger, as I said, this isn’t an attack on you at all – because you aren’t the only one having mentioned them as “prog”. This: “I think Anaphys veer more toward what we would call straight up rock at this point.” is exactly what I’m getting at.

    They’re a rock band. If all of you fools want to buy into it as “post-prog” then please, be my guest. I’ll be off listening to Panic at the Disco because, didn’t you know? Avant-post-pop is all the rage right now.

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  14. Mick says:

    REALLY tasteful text; seems to ribbon the music Just right (and I ain’t even heard the music).

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  15. Righard says:

    Oh halleluyah, someone else that hates Muse.

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  16. Carol Reed says:

    Ahhh, a story about Prog Rock. A place where people with names like Des, Estelle and Alain come to argue.

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  17. tim lester says:

    @AlainWilliam

    sorry it was so painful for you dude. take a listen to our recorded stuff and you can tell me what genre you think it is. http://www.anaphys.com . . listen to Kyros first. . I think that song pretty much sums us up . . our style at least

    Tim

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  18. RickyDee says:

    “the bionic leader of a race of undersea fish-men”….classic stuff!

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  19. Alan (-) E. Moose says:

    Your opening sentence: “Kids are literally chomping at the bit to get into Merc.”

    * It’s ‘champing’ at the bit, not chomping.
    * Were they ‘literally’ champing at the bit, hey Rog?

    Just keeping you in check ’cause you like to have a swing at others’ language and grammar.

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  20. Sally Fink says:

    Great article Roger. Your metaphors aside, its a lovely round up of all three acts. Glad you had fun.

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  21. tim lester says:

    I think we’re more about tying to create a style of music that is distinctly our own and Iconic. . Like if you hear 2 lines of a deftones song, you’ll instantly know who you’re listening to . . same goes for Tool. those bands are so iconic that they’ve pretty much created their own genre in that they are instantly recognizable. same goes for some of the greatest voices in music history. Like David Bowie, Micheal Jackson, Christina Aguilera. all completely iconic unique voices. We just want to make something new. that has its own sound. so you can say “that sounds like Anaphys” what we got out of it at the end of the day (or at the end of 4 years of writing and re-writing) is the Anaphys you hear now.

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  22. Murray says:

    I agree Roger, there seemed to be a disconnect between Anaphys and the crowd. The vocalist would do weird arm movements, it seemed, just for himself. He would sing over the crowd, looking at the exit rather than to them. Personally I thought they we shit.

    Isochronous galvanised themselves in my mind as one of the most exciting bands this country has to offer. I was bursting out in excited laughter throughout their set. Phenomenal.

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  23. Katie Melua's Perpetual Frown says:

    I also fucking hate Muse.

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  24. Alan (-) E. Moose says:

    @ tim lester

    Dude, those are incredibly lofty ambitions, and I’m not sure whether your band actually manages that. What you’re essentially saying is that you want to be so distinguishable that you’re a genre unto yourself. Calling yourself ‘post-anything’ is really just another arrogant gesture in a long line of bands who want to define themselves as original in theory and not practice.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Of Anaphys – the vocalist’s voice is actually pretty damn good as far as local bands go. But this band is the perfect argument against masturbatory over-technical music.

    There’s an obvious Tool influence in the quirky time signatures, only it sounds very artificial; very contrived. Like they’re trying hard to make the music more complicated at certain places than it needs to be.

    This is like getting a bunch of passionless but musically educated instrumentalists in a science lab and asking them to turn out good music – it comes out cold and rational and technically-based. This music sounds like a science experiment.

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  26. tim lester says:

    @ Alan (-) E. Moose

    I am in no way saying that we are a genre unto ourselves, I merely used those other bands as extreme examples of how strong the character of their sound is. Friday night was our second show. so we’re working on it. as far as the Post genre’s go. Its a completely objective, valid label. in the past 4 years we have seen the rise of Post-rock. which holds a certain return to psychedelic rock of the 1960s, but with a definite modern approach. I think post-rock has been characterized by bands like red-sparrows, Mogwai, 65daysofstatic. For me, I grew up on 90’s Nu Metal like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach (which has pretty much lost its place in music). I cannot align myself with the founders of Progressive rock like the Led Zeplins, Rush or Yes, because frankly I didnt live it and cant identify with it. But bands like Mars Volta and Tool (who have definite reference to Led Zeplin and Pink Floyd) do this, but take it further with their own interpretation. So I’m making music 3 to 4 generations later, I know where the ideas have come from, but I intemperate them with my own musical history and background. this is why I define it as being in a post genre. Its more honest of me than claiming to be prog . . which would probably be more arrogant. Post-Rock, Post-punk, post-prog . . are not new terms.

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  27. Alan (-) E. Moose says:

    @time lester

    Okay, nicely said.

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  28. Righard says:

    Post-Rock died 5 years ago when Mogwai started releasing dull-as-dishwater albums musical wallpaper (i’m saying this as an ex-rabid fan), Explosions in the sky became U2 wthout Bono and proved to be only midly preferable, and 65daysofstaitc proved that any good idea can be watered down into an insipid, affectless mess. Tortoise are still playing, but no-one seems to be shouting too much about post-rock now.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    I thought Bateleur were pretty damn cool. They were a bit overwhelming at times but on the whole I thought they were incredibly interesting and fresh.

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  30. AlainWilliam says:

    I think my biggest issue with Anaphys was their vocalist. Eccentric vocalists (like David Thomas) work very well when their eccentricities don’t come across forced.

    Also, I always find it weird when people aren’t able to listen to older music because they haven’t “lived through it”. I still find bands like Pink Floyd, King Crimson etc completely listenable.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    I’m with Alain on the listenability of older music.

    I’m also with Alain on the eccentricity of the vocalist. If you’ve ever seen Maynard James Keenan of Tool perform live in the mid-90s, he was a little whacky on stage (in fact, even the contemporary shows have their idiosyncracies). The vocalist from Anaphys seems to be really determinedly channeling Maynard and it comes across a little dorky. Sorry.

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  32. Roger Young says:

    This story would have been up on Monday but I struggled with whether to use “champing” or “chomping” but because kids were literally chomping at THE bit, i decided to go with a description of the reality of the moment rather than a weak old school over used metaphor.

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  33. Willem says:

    I was looking forward to this show, not so much because of Iso (who I know and love – they have become good friends of mine over the last year), but because of Bateleur and Anaphys.

    I’m sad to say I missed Bateleur’s set – only catching their last song, which I really loved. I’ve listened to the EP a lot, but I really needed to see them live. Hopefully next time. They really capture what I love about music at the moment and are truly, in my mind, SA’s first post-rock act (as much as I hate labels). I hope they continue to eschew lyrics, and that the ‘scene’s’ curiosity with their obvious quirkiness/artiness doesn’t go to their heads.

    Anaphys – I dunno. I was looking forward to it, but I had my doubts about the vocals ever since I listened to the stuff on Facebook. I’m sorry Tim, but in my mind you didn’t cut it – maybe you will some time into the future, but I just wasn’t struck by it – I needed to feel power which just didn’t strike through to my core. Also, four/five years of writing/rehearsing and (as I read in another interview) de-Toolifying your music? I’m sorry, but I didn’t get that – all I heard was The Mars Volta + Tool, and I felt a little disappointed. Here’s the thing – you’ll always sound like what you love – people will always be able to pick it up, and that’s the point. Roll with it, don’t fight it – and then find your own voice – your own unique selling point that makes people go “Hey man, now THAT iS Anaphys…”

    Isochronous – my brothers, you stole my heart again, almost as if for the first time. I’ve been following Iso for the last year, filming them, interviewing them, kinda documenting their rise whenever they’re in Cape Town, and hence spent a lot of time with them backstage, even on stage during some shows, filming their performances. I lost perspective, not being down on the ground and essentially WATCHING them. This was rectified last weekend. Man oh fucking man. Best show EVER. I’ve never seen their crowd respond like that before, and the mix was absolutely impeccable (this was fucked up horribly last time the boys played with The Sleepers). These guys are about to explode, I can just feel it, and I think more than anyone at this point, they fucking deserve it.

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  34. Willem says:

    Oh, and one more thing… What’s with the labels? Post-prog bleh meh. Fuck that shit. Either you rock or you don’t. I’m so over all these labels these days and choose to refer to the music I listen to in very broad strokes at the moment: either Post-Rock or Post-Metal. Sure, there are genres within those genres, but at that point it just becomes ridiculous.

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  35. WhistleWhile says:

    Ah, the Isochronous review – a totally redundant piece of copy out of any journalist’s pen. They are the quintessential critically-bulletproof band. The only fear critics have of this band might be the fact that one day they will run out of hyperboles, superlatives and genre names to describe them. They are fantastic musicians. But are they extremely innovative songwriters?

    It’s seems to me that bands can be compared to Muse, and then get derided because of their Muse’s apparent sell-out status. But then you get a band like Isochronous who mimic vocal styles, guitar tones, time signatures and synth lines from the “lesser known” Mew back catalogue and they get lauded as “most exciting band in SA”. Hmmm. Can somebody please explain this?

    If Isochronous stayed in Denmark, they would be crucified for copying Mew. If you don’t believe me, please have a listen to any track off Mew’s “And The Glass Handed Kites” and then have a listen to the new Isochronous track “Oxygen”.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction will be when they commence their European tour. It’s an awesome break for a South African band to be invited as a guest act on an international tour, although The Parlotones didn’t get nearly the amount of praise when asked to guest by both Starsailor and Ash. I wonder why. Perhaps it’s because of the ballads they aren’t as cool.

    And if that is Righard Kapp writing about post-rock this becomes interesting. Considering he unfortunately finds himself stuck squarely in a genre he has declared deceased. Necrophilia?

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  36. Willem says:

    @ WhistleWhile RE: Isochronous – I think they’re as innovative as they need to be right now. Earning a living as a musician is tough in SA, and I think Iso has learned just what they need to do to retain artistry yet have commercial appeal – not an easy feat. I don’t think they’re attempting to redefine genres, nor are they denying their influences – they’re just attempting to make good music and touch people, and succeeding at both.

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  37. WhistleWhile says:

    @Willem I have to thank you for being honest. I have the utmost respect for what Isochronous have achieved. I think it’s the same as when you look back at the SA bands from the 90’s such as the Nude Girls, Boo!, Saron Gas etc. and see how they have become accomplished musicians and key players in the local and international industry since then. But it took them quite a number of years to earn a living.

    I just think a new band such as Anaphys (or any other band just starting out) should be granted that attempt to make good music and touch people. They wouldn’t be up on that stage if there wasn’t a drive or passion behind the music. It may not translate perfectly, but, as with all things, it needs cultivating. I’m pretty sure that is applicable to most industries.

    As you said, Isochronous have succeeded at both, but in their case I think they would need to constantly reinvent themselves to become a mainstay of the industry. Those boys are smart enough to do it, so I believe they can.

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  38. tim lester says:

    Thanks alot WhistleWhile and Willem . . some kind words. and a nice honest responses to this article and thread.

    @whistleWhile: I totally hear you on the Mew reference. Mew are my favorite band. . so naturally I had a bit of a love hate relationship with Isochronous because of it. But after hearing their set on Friday (the new studio arrangements). 3 years, and 3 albums down the road I can honestly say that they’ve found their own musical voice. and Its really strong.. . I think Anaphys will experience the same kind of evolution over the next few years 🙂 so bare with us in the meantime.

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  39. Willem says:

    Oh, and Tim, hope I didn’t come off harsh bud. I’ve been making music myself for yeeeaaars and have been waiting patiently for bands like The Sleepers, Anaphys and Bateleur to emerge from the bowels of Cape Town, and now that they’re here I’m being overly critical. Though I think that’s alright – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and look forward to seeing how you guys evolve – one things for sure – the whole lot of Anaphys is talented, and this was only your second show. Time will refine and make things better. 🙂

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  40. Katie Melua's Ashen Curls says:

    Willem, you dunce – “rock” is a label as well. Just ‘cos you choose to use it as verb doesn’t mean that you’re not behaving like a hypocrite.

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  41. Righard says:

    Hey WhuistleWhile, yes, it’s me, i realise i was a bit dickish, melodramatic and off-topic as well. i’m just bewildered by this recent trend of ‘post-rock’ (itself a very problematic bit of journalistic hyperbole) being considered this new and fresh thing among SA music fans, when third-generation acts overseas are already churning out their tedious and formulaic reduction of some bands’ initial promise. This has got nothing to do with any of the bands in the article, Isochronous are fantastic and i haven’t seen the others but would be very curious to.

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  42. Raiven says:

    Nice review Roger, I can see that you did SOME research!

    As a music student, I find it interesting to observe how non-musicians communicate their musical thoughts and opinions. Where trained musicians think almost mathematically according to the rules of melody, harmony and rhythm, non-musicians will describe their thoughts with a myriad of resources such as influences, history, cultural-references and long-strung-together-adjectives-somehow-put-into-place-to-describe-a-sound-that-they-are-trying-to-place. The gig in question on Friday night was a very interesting gig, because of the amount of discourse that was prevalent in this regard.

    First of all: Prog Rock. Progressive alludes to the form of the music. Where rock is generally characterised by a standard song arrangement (intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus etc.), guitars and a rebellious lyrics/content, progressive rock makes use of forms similar to those of classical music, whereby there are sections of music arranged in a cyclical format (ABACAD, binary AB, ternary ABA or sonata form medium pace-slow-medium-fast sections). It also makes use of unconventional time-signatures and the lyrical content is more ethereal and cerebral. Anyphys were most definitely progressive rock, they did not play a single song in 4/4 time, although the drummer Xander maintained a backbeat most of the time, his inflections often carved out 5/4 and 7/4 beats.

    Second of all: The reason that Isochronous are excellent is not because they make mind-altering music, it is because of the delivery of their music and their humility. Although very interesting and catchy at the same time, they use simple chords (this may miscontrued, I study jazz) and play simple backbeats, complimenting lyrics that we can all identify with. This is the thing about music, it doesn’t matter how complicated your music is, as long as you’re not the only person enjoying it – that is if you want to be famous for it – there is nothing better than the power of a good song and a good show.
    They blow peoples minds because they treat the stage as a theatre, They get up on it, and they are actors on a stage, engaging the audience sonically and visually, and in this case sensually. Sadly, this is a rarity in our country. Most people in bands practice their music until it’s coming out of their ears but will never consider their look, their presence and their actions on stage in a way that can make their performance more enjoyable to an audiece. Look at Boo!, 340ml, Tidal Waves, Fokofpolisiekar (and derivitives of), even fucking Locnville…all different bands, yet they get to perform internationally or extensively locally and play enough gigs to keep the kids healthy. Weirdly, your average London/New York band would think more about the performance than the music (don’t forget the power of a good song)..who has it backwards?

    It was a very interesting, cerebral gig with a fucking rad cherry on top.

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  43. edgar allen poes says:

    Raiven, you need to get laid soooooo badly.

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  44. Roger Young says:

    You have no idea how often Raiven gets laid, way more than you. Waaaay more. After all he’s in a band/act that tours the country extensively and it’s all he does. He makes enough cash from music to live and jam with weird ass psychedelic progressive skank bands on the side. His input is actually greatly appreciated.

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  45. tim lester says:

    @ edgar poes.
    yeah dude. . Raiven has had no shortage of booty . .

    @Raiven
    wow . . . really honest and Insightful . . made my day actually. . . super constructive and well received . . some great comments, from a great musician . glad you dug the show buddy, thanks for coming 🙂

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  46. verbalkint says:

    I also think Anaphys are their own worst enemy right now. I want to like them, and I’ve listened to their songs many many times, but it’s not quite there. Then again, what did Isochronous sound like during their second gig? I’m sure they weren’t exactly ONE with the crowd either. So let’s cut Anaphys some slack. Jordi is a motherfucking epic bassist and I was utterly amazed at his skill the other night. Spastic retardation aside, the vocals are really good man, and with a little time will be even better. The mix was atrocious. Where was the guitar! Why do bands like The Sleepers and Iso sound so good when their support acts suck so much? I don’t understand exactly. Same engineers usually right? Turn that guitar up, and tell the guitarist to put some freaking overdrive on that shit. Dig his fingerpicking style though, very cool. Anaphys also didn’t help themselves by proclaiming the whole post-prog moniker. Pretentious and stupid. There is no such thing as post prog IMO. Prog is good enough? It was good enough for the Floyd, it will be good enough for you guys. Considering that Chopin or Beethoven were prog for their times, should we call more modern composers post prog then?

    But seriously, will be following these guys and checking more of their shows. I came out just to see them cause I had seen Bateleur before, and although I like their EP a lot, their live performance leaves a lot to be desired. Indie hipster jersey/t-shirt? Check. Bassist making love to thin air. Check. Excitement. Not so much…

    And Iso. Thanks to WhitleWhile I have listened to the Mew album, and yeah, wow. It’s like listening to Iso really. So these people saying that Anaphys are Tool ripoffs or Volta ripoffs, blissfully unaware how Iso wear their Mew influence on their sleeve. Either way, I think the Iso guys are really talented, and although I would consider their music a little, um, care bear for my taste, I wish them well. I just don’t think they are the second coming (first coming?) of prog in this country at all.

    @ Raiven. Wanna jam sometime? I have a psychedelic/heavy/prog band and would love to hook up with some like minded musos. Being there Friday did depress me in the sense that if I think about our 8-10 minute arrangements, I fear the attention span, or the indifference, of the crowd might cause me to slit something. And we’re looking for a good vocalist. Do those exist in Cape Town?

    My wish is that there will be more and more bands like these popping up and that we can slowly educate the Cape Town massive as to some more cerebral and challenging music (hopefully a few heavier bands though, what is this, primary school?). My faveourite local band is The Sleepers, and everytime I see them live I get to experience the joys that only a good live show can give. Sadly in this country that fix is few and extremely far between. I’m hoping this is about to change in the next couple years.

    Vrede,

    P.S. Anaphys, please post lyrics. I know the songs now, need to know the context too. And don’t let the haters get you down.

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  47. tim lester says:

    @verbalkint
    lol. the haters never get me down

    we’re
    we will post lyrics onto our new website once its uploaded buddy
    still busy coding it and stuffs. 😛

    we’re playing with the Sleepers on the 30th of Oct at Merc Live again . . for the Halloween gig 🙂 hopefully we’ll be able to give you guys a better show. . . WITH BETTER SOUND ffs (let it be noted that we were the only band on friday who didnt get a soundcheck)

    so come on down

    p.s the Sleepers usually do covers for that evening . . . we’re throwing in 2 covers also 😛
    so its gonna be interesting

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  48. Somnambulist says:

    The 2nd band in a 3 band line-up never gets a soundcheck, it’s not a valid excuse.

    I don’t think sound was an issue at all in your show, the mix seemed fine, you need to project your voice better.

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  49. Raiven says:

    There are ways to get around bad sound, if you can’t have a soundcheck. If you think about it a sound engineer is technically another addition to the band, as he is controlling the mix out front that you don’t hear and fitting the parts into context.

    You could hire your own sound engineer to mix all your gigs, this is what the pro bands do. Although it is costly, it really helps. Another alternative could be to book a good venue with a clear soundsystem during the day and get a really good sound engineer to work through your sound with you. By taking notes of what you would like to sound like, the difference in levels (where the vox must be more prominent, guitar solo etc.) as well as effects, you could transfer these to any engineer that may be working your sound on a particular night so that he is briefed beforehand, will make his job better and your sound better. This would also make it easier to replicate a recorded sound.

    @ Roger and Tim. Haha, my girlfriend reads this you know! 🙂 She does say that I am a pimp. And good show Tim, you have much to learn but you’re putting your energy out there and that’s the best platform.

    @ Verbalkint. I’m always keen to jam, however I’m pretty busy and I play the saxophone! Mars Volta have some alto sax in their recordings, and I think Floyd. I’d be stoked to hear your music and talk through it anytime. Discourse amongst musicians breeds education, perspective and progression. Hit me up at raiven_hansmann@hotmail.com. As for vocalist’s, I don’t know. It’s few and far between, if you can’t find someone with the developed skill, go for someone who can hit a note, write lyrics and has balls…and work from there I guess.

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  50. seanfriedman says:

    Bateleur – math folk rock? more like quantum math folk rock.

    The first local band that I’ve felt has innovated and created something equally original and beautiful.

    I get shivers listening to them.

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  51. tim lester says:

    well spoken Sean. . Bateleur were amazing. Dean is my new favorite local drummer 😀 he just trips

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  52. Anonymous says:

    I’m fascinated by how Muse have become the new go to “I fucking hate” band now that they’ve achieved a certain level of commercial success. Anyway, everyone has their own tastes and preferences and nobody here has knocked their musical ability or talent, it’s just something I’ve noticed lately

    I enjoyed Anaphys. The potential is

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  53. Roger Young says:

    I have always hated Muse. It’s just that they’re so low on my radar that I sometimes forget.

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  54. tim lester says:

    for Roger
    a little something to service your radar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6z1wA20hrA&feature=related

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  55. Eraserhead says:

    re:Bateleur
    “three songs in and it starts to feel thin like they’re not really engaging the crowd”

    One of the difficulties of live instrumental rock is precisely that quality. While i cannot comment on this show, on the other occasions in which I’ve seen Bateleur, they’ve hooked the crowd triumphantly. At their first gig (at the Albert Hall in May) they were the only band to fill the floor, and crucially, maintain it. It was impressive.

    Bateleur is a truly exciting band; some next level shit. They’re already a few levels above kidofdoom – this is a band with genuine quality. They’ve got too much talent, and too many good ideas to not be great for long.

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  56. Eraserhead says:

    that was a bit too overenthusiastic.

    fuck it

    count me as a bateleur fanboy.

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  57. Eraserhead says:

    @seanfriedman and tim lester

    WORD

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  58. anna-molly says:

    it’s great to see that people are so passionate about the cape town scene. it’s that passion that gives bands like bateleur/anaphys/isochronous/sleepers etc. the potential to exist outside of the garage and to be appreciated on stage.

    but music is not an intellectual sport. genre-classification and wordy descriptions will never be sufficient explanations for what happens when musicians communicate – on a musical level – with each other on stage and consequently with the audience. music either makes you feel or it doesn’t.

    in my opinion, the communication between the band and the audience happens through the music. that’s what i appreciate about bateleur. these guys aren’t trying to put on a show. they’re just playing their music. really playing their music. in my opinion, that’s the best kind of show there is. people who comment on bateleur’s dress sense, hairstyles and stage antics have got the story all wrong; if the music doesn’t move you, so be it, but don’t be fooled into believing that anything other than the music really matters to these guys. right now, anyway.

    isochronous put on a ripping show because not only do they know how to communicate with an audience through their music, but their music is also easily-accessible – thanks to brute rocking energy and silky smooth vocal melodies, not to mention an undeniable undercurrent of groove. i will have to see anaphys again before i can be certain but i suspect that these are all things that they lack.

    fascinating discussion, but let’s keep in mind that we’re discussing music and that everything we say is part constructive and part utterly ignorant. because We Are Audience.

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  59. Bielizna Sklep says:

    Hi superb blog! Does running a blog similar to this take a massive amount work? I’ve no knowledge of programming but I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject but I simply had to ask. Thanks a lot!

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