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Debut Album from jacSharp Boosts South African Music Scene
South African music has just received its next major boost; it's called Technicolour and it's jacSharp's world-class debut album
South African music is in an encouragingly positive space. New bands are springing up on an almost weekly basis, and they’re producing and playing quality music that people – in South Africa and overseas – are lapping up.
National radio stations are doing a great job of supporting new local music, and there are plenty of gigs happening around the country.
South African music is undoubtedly enjoying a resurgence of sorts, and it’s thanks to hard-working bands like jacSharp, who are making the effort to deliver colourful music that is distinctly South African and at the same time also world-class.
CapeTownMagazine.com attended the launch of jacSharp’s debut CD – Technicolour – in December 2008. The band chose to treat those in attendance to a star show at the Cape Town Planetarium, with each track being played in full, crisp surround sound, and each briefly explained by the various band members.
The band consists of Carl Wegelin on guitars, Ben Peters on drums, Emelio Gassibe on bass and Juliet Harding on vocals. Carl, Ben and Emelio all hail from one of South Africa’s top rock bands, Plush.
JacSharp classify themselves as Afro-Pop, and yes, while the majority of the tracks do incorporate well-defined African rhythms with an obvious pop presence, simply slotting this band into a slick-sounding genre is a shortcut to nowhere.
You really need to put this album on from start to finish and appreciate the finer nuances of all the tracks. Each is meaty enough on its own, but this album is really more about the whole – it’s an ingenious piece of work that has a strong overall identity and distinctive musical presence.
With textured tracks that range from catchy to contemplative, this album takes the listener on a multi-layered journey, filled with suave sounds and thoughtful lyrics.
“Technicolour is an album title with lengthy debate behind it, one that conjures up a range of visual imagery and certainly an identity which characterizes the diversity that best represents jacSharp,” says the band.
With pre-production first beginning in early October of 2007 the album has been over a year in the making – completed and with the final mastering it arrived back in late November 2008.
Technicolour exposes the listener to the band’s exploration of genre and their sharing of a passion for the music they create. It is permeated by an uplifting sense of an inexplicable and remarkable African flavour.
It’s said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but jacSharp invites you to judge their debut album by its artwork, which is a stunningly accurate visual match for the music you’ll discover on the CD itself.
Altogether it is a production that has just lifted the bar for South African artists by quite some way.
Molo Says: “Look out for the second bonus track on the album – the Distractions remix by Chris Griffin, who’s produced and remixed hit songs for Madonna, Kanye West, John Legend, Missy Elliot and Janet Jackson to name a few – legendary stuff!”
“Use the rhythm. Kick it. All around the room…” jacSharp – Saving Grace
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