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Van Pletzen: Kak Lekke Vibe

Pure electro-pop escapism that urges you to take life with a pinch of salt.

3 Apr 2018 / Opinion, Review / written by Tecla Ciolfi

Is jy gereed vir tien lekker liedtjies? Okay so that’s about as much taal as you’re gonna get from me but not from Van Pletzen’s debut “Kak Lekke Vibe”.

Recorded at Peach Van Pletzen’s (Bittereinder, Yesterday’s Pupil) Johannesburg studio, the title is self-explanatory and the lyrical content much-needed in today’s rather tense social and political times.

In the same vein as singles ‘Eiland Style’ and ‘Goud’, the album is pure escapism from start to finish, the perfect accompaniment to any Weskus road trip or Sunday braai. Whether they’re urging you to kick back with a zol (‘Zaberfluten’) or get up and join them on the dance floor (‘Kak Lekke Vibe’) their message is always the same – don’t take yourself so goddam seriously.

But navigating that thin line between satire and humour is not always so straightforward and runs the risk of being taken for a big joke so let me assure you, the quality of this release is no laughing matter.

Melodically, their beats are rooted in electro-pop and peppered with catchy synth lines courtesy of Nik Nax (Hello Beautiful, Beach Party) and his trusty KORG.

The low, reverberating electro undercurrent on upcoming single ‘Die Beats Amazing’ is also as heavy as you’re going to get on this album. Peach also takes the opportunity on this track to subtly remind us that he’s been in this game for more than a minute, throwing back lyrically to Oorlog Frankenstein and Hotbox Studio days in Pretoria where they were “pioniers”.

But it’s the tracks that feature Early B (Earl Swartz) that make this release. The Bloemendal-born rapper, who’s been DIYing since 2012 and built himself a mad following in the process, has a timbre to his flow that’s light (‘Boude’) and unique in his annunciation (‘Liefde Maak’). He’s the most exciting thing to happen to Afrikaans rap since Jack Parow circa ‘Cooler As Ekke’.

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Listen to the album on Apple Music.