Thursday, June 12, 2014

Folk Music in South Africa?

The weekly column on South African bands and live shows.
by Omri Ismail Cassiem
This week: Acoustic Groove Machine

Good day, readers. Today I bring you a three piece folk outfit that will really interest you. They are called Acoustic Groove Machine, a band that has a song written for the sole purpose of being the sound check song. That should give you an idea of what to expect when you’re expecting… Hang on, that’s not quite right. Acoustic Groove Machine has a very Jack Black-esque vibe; that is, if Tenacious D had two blonde bombshells making up the rhythm section.

When you hear the band for the first time, you get a feel of very upbeat folk music, and you smile a little thinking, “Alright I can listen to this”. Adrian Smokestack Lightning Ziller is singing, and you are enjoying the rhythm of the music, then out of nowhere a simple two part vocal harmony appears and your entire body erupts in goosebumps as Romy Ridesapony Jankelowitz joins him. All of a sudden, a band you were only peripherally listening to grabs your attention entirely, and you look up and see them. They create a sense of melancholy with their vocals as you sit down and stare awestruck at the three piece outfit on stage. Then you notice something else happening that you didn’t quite expect: your foot starts tapping to the rhythm of their songs, and before long you are up dancing and enjoying yourself. Another harmony appears, and just like that the melancholy is broken, forgotten, and a smile creases your face. That dear readers is Acoustic Groove Machine. A strangely enchanting band. You get drawn into their musical reality, and I for one found myself completely entranced by their bass player Alison Justal McAlinden . There was something about the way she moved on stage, the slight movement of a shoulder, her hip twisting, a knee bending. Like a sapling in the wind, there was something so enthralling and beautiful about it.

Ok let’s actually pretend to be adults for a second and deliver a solid review not fraught with platitudes and flavorful text. Acoustic Groove Machine has a solid rhythm section, with Romy Ridesapony Jankelowitz playing percussion and Alison Justal McAlinden keeping you entranced with her bass. Their vocal component is brought to you expressly by Adrian Smokestack Lighting Ziller and Romy, two voices that harmonise seamlessly as if cut from the same cloth. And finally the acoustic guitar is skillfully brought to you by Adrian. They really are a band worth watching if you enjoy folk music.

Go check them out on facebook:
Or Twitter: @AGM_Band