South Africa sends us Perceptions Of Pacha from Goldfish which was released at this year’s Miami’s Winter Music Conference. Goldfish are David Poole and Dominic Peters, apparent members of jazz outfit called Breakfast Included. Said to be one of the most exciting live electronica acts in the world right now, they hail from that small but famous city on the southern-most tip of Africa and apparently once played for Nelson Mandela! Both cats come from the jazz theater of music, and yet they've added the latest electronic stylings to their repertoire, but not enough to incorporate the funk necessary to apply them in a U.S. urban way.
My first impression is that this is House-lite (to go along with that brand of beer) with a few soothing vocals, like the fluffy blanket cooing of Monique Hellenberg on one of the two best cuts here, “This Is How It Goes”, that really carry the band’s texture born out of synthesizer keyboards, the upright bass, saxophones, and other jazz components. In a way it’s like Herbie Hancock meets Inner City as the aficionados decided to go House. “This Is How It Goes” has a radio edit later on this CD, which is good as the tune is worth hearing again without having to get up and press ‘play” again, but it is that first version that does justice to the tradition of a long, DJ-mixable dance track. Additionally there is a radio remix of track six, “Cruising Through” near the album’s finale.
“Sold my Soul”, the lead-off track, is reminiscent of Sylvester’s “SELL My Soul” in name only as club jams go. The second best jam here is number ten, “Coming Home”, which pumps the beat a little bit harder, reminds one who had legacy enough to remember The Olympic Runners’ “Put The Music Where Your Mouth Is”, is the best example of an upright bass carrying a Dance jam since Ron Carter, and is vocalist Hlangwani’s best on this album. Yet it is still too “lite” and needs that real down-under edge which maybe they do not know about over there.
Research says this played big over in Cape Town, and that this is their second album; also they were even voted best live act in South Africa, however, I doubt it gets any noticeable airplay here in “the States” any time soon because as house music goes, this bassment surely isn’t deep enough. They've added the electronic beats to their sound but have yet to incorporate enough funk to apply them in an urban way.
Goldfish aimed at combining elements of jazz, house and groovy electronica spices, and may be unwittingly guilty of watering-down their own formula. Only on the third-best song here, “Cruising Through” do I glean any hit of the Motherland or Afro-House, which I was expecting a bit more of, and that is disappointing. Oh by the way, the last cut is a video that only your PC can read. As a whole, unless as I suspect, the international House music community has become seriously diluted in general, this is only moderately interesting club music and thus, evokes three goldfish cookie stars.
Released March 2008 on Pacha Recordings.