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TAFL album reviews
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The Star, Shape Magazine, Mail&Guardian, Huisgenoot, Die Burger / Citizen, Cape Argus Tonight selected print media reviews of TAFL.
by Sylvester Haskins
Buckfever Underground offer up an unconventional, but tasty concoction of music. And what sets this EP apart from anything else you may have heard is the extraordinary frontman-vocalist Toast Coetzer: a poet and writer of note.
The title of the groups first release is certainly a mouthful, but it combines a coherent and deeply fluent poetic display by Coetzer, with subtle music undertones created by the band’s musicians: bassist-guitarist Gilad Hockman, pianist Jon Savage and drummer Steven Timm.
Coetzer’s poetry borders on the bizarre as it summons up real insight into the SA lifestyle, albeit mainly from an Afrikaner point of view. English and Afrikaans are interchanged, with the Afrikaans songs being especially illuminating as these are saturated with humour and ideology. Titles such as Oom Willem Strikes Back, Die Bure, Die Ou Man en die Ou Vrou might give you an indication of the content…
This is poetry rather than music - intellectual messages blurted out against the backdrop of soothing, funky rhythms. These messages speak of everyday struggles in South Africa. You’ll find a mix of feelings and textures to this album that requires your full attention while listening. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always uniquely Suf Efrican. Keep an eye on these guys - they’re the kind of artists who need to be hailed an supported, but dont buy them for their music, buy it for their lyrics. Initially I struggled to get into it, now i can’t get enough.
Mail & Guardian
by Nadia Neophytou
The Buckfever Underground are a somewhat enigamtic collective, making rare gig appearances and even more rarely releasing albums. Having been around since 1998, this creative quartet comprises Toast Coetzer, Gilad Hockman, Jon Savage and Stephen Timm. This, their second album, is a seamless combination of billingual poetry, some of the funny tongue-in-cheek kind, others of a more beautiful kind, resulting in a seven-track album of Afrikaans and English spoken work over percussive melodies. From the opening track, a parody of the Nedbank who-are-those-people advert, to the intimate longing of on Love In A Time Of Visas, this album is a stream-of-consciousness glimpse into being young in South Africa, where the trend of going to a Far East country to teach English is fast becoming popular. The Buckfever Underground’s independent release is now available in stores, which means that Afrikaans may not have to become a foreign language after all.
Die enigste rede dat hierdie resensie nie ‘n punt uit tien gekry het nie, is dat dit baie moeilik is om dit te behoordeel. Hoe ver loop die definisie musiek? Moet dit noodwendig ‘n deuntjie hê en is sang altyd deel daarvan? Hierdie CD kan as social kommentaar beskryf word en is interessant in die goeie sin van die woord. Beslis nie almal se koppie tee nie, maar luister as jy van aweregse “musiek” hou. Die woorde/lirieke is sterk en veral Jon Savage op klavier moet ‘n klop op die skouer kry.
Die Burger (2/5) / The Citizen (2/5)
Die musikante van Boo!, Koos en wyle Bernoldus Niemand benut hul kuns as middel, eerder as doel. Die lirieke is die belangrikste en die musiek blote agtergrond. Die Buckfever Underground neig ook na punk soos Boo! en Koos.
The musicians of Boo!, Koos and Bernoldus Niemand utilize their art as medium, rather than purpose. The Buckfever Underground also lean towards punk, like Boo! and Koos.
Met slegs ‘n klavier, baskitaar en tromme speel die Buckfever Underground lo-fi, soos wat die gestroopte rock van die White Stipes genoem word. Toast Coetzer se meestal gesproke lirieke trek aandag en die begeleiding is op die vlak van die musiekteater.
With just a piano, bass guitar and drums, the Buckfever Underground play lo-fi, as the stripped rock of The White Stripes is (also) called. Toast Coetzer’s mostly spoken lyrics draw attention and the accompaniment is on the level of music theatre.
TAFL is hul tweede album en bevat sewe nommers. Dis bedoel as vermaak, maar nie om op te dans of saam te neurie nie. As jy meen gedigte word sterker wanner dit getoonset is, en jy van stories in musiek hou, kan die Buckfever Underground jou vermaak. Maar veel meer as narre in musiekgewaad is dié maats nie.
TAFL is their second album and contains seven tracks. It’s meant as entertainment, but not to dance to or hum to. If you think poems are made stronger when they are scored to music, and if you like stories in music, then The Buckfever Underground can entertain you. But more than clowns in musical-clothing they are not.
The Cape Argus Tonight
by Tiaan Olivier
Shamefully, I must admit that I have never seen them live, but after hearing this I feel ready to aim a low kick at my own person for that. Buckfever has spent years perfecting their stream of consciousness poerty and music and on this their third offering, have included live instrumentation and are also rumoured to have started practicing, at least once before every gig.
With instruments that include a broom and titles like Oom Willem Strikes Back and Love in The Time of Visas, expect the unexpected. The seven tracks, recorded in Fish Hoek are so unique and experimental, comparisons are unavoidable: Johannes K meet Zappa, Gert Vlok Nel meets early Beck.
Mostly Afrikaans, the band is a mix of experimental, acoustic folk and improvisation, freeform jazz, done mostly on pianos and bass. But it’s the lyrics that compel, shock, absorb in the flowing speech-poetry form.
Each song, line for line, is a vivid verbal voyage much in the vein of Ginsberg and Dylan, focusing on the effect of the sound of certain words while capturing the natural speech-rhythms of local dialect.