THOTS Out Loudby Nathan Zeno / 06.07.2009
THOTS (pronounced “thoughts”) are one of those genre-busting bands that are sometimes hard to pin down. Hip Hop meets Jazz meets Hard Rock may not sound like the most appealing thought but the way Raheem and the boys bridge these gaps is where the genius lies.
It’s hard to describe what they do and how they do it, which is probably why they do it. It would be foolish to say that THOTS are exploring anything new, but they do it so well that it feels new. From jazzy piano to turntables to MC to heavy metal drumming, taking in beat-boxing and funk bass, good songs and singing guitar; it’s mind-bending how good they can be. And tight, not in a rehearsed kinda way (although they must rehearse the fuck out of these tracks to get that level of texture and nuance) but in a relaxed-with-each-others’-flow kind of way.
The first time I saw them, there was something about the structure of the music that made me think of Led Zeppelin. Friday night’s gig at Luna Lounge made me realize that they are all that and more. It’s obvious from the chilled opening of their set that THOTS don’t just get up on stage and play some songs, their performance is a tightly structured thing that is neither over-rehearsed or the showy and unlike other MC fronted acts, they never stoop to being preachy.
They don’t make pop music, it’s multilayered and there are so many ways to appreciate it. I’m not talking about appreciate in a jazz audience kind of way, THOTS rock out, no doubt, but they get you to the rocking out through different rhythms and moods. Maybe it’s in the way they play with the tempo, maybe it’s how they find the spaces in the music and maybe it’s because there just aren’t any other MC’s who sing like that.
THOTS are doing a flash tour of Cape Town and Joburg from this week, before they go into the Red Bull Studio to record some tracks.
CPT Mercury Live 6th July
Zula 7th July
Gandalfs 8th July
Dizzy’s 9th July
Mojo’s 10th July
Roots 14th July
Eye Of Horus 15th July
JHB Tanz Café 23rd July
Pic Credit: Kevin Goss-Ross