Remember when Die Heuwels Fantasties dropped their debut album in 2009? We were all young then, with min fokken worries and Johnny de Ridder was still in the passenger seat alongside Pierre Greef and Hunter Kennedy. If that’s tugged at any of your haggard Oppikoppi heartstrings then you’d better sit down for this album.
2021 takes you through every genre spectrum the band can pull off – with a healthy team of collaborators flanking them. We’ve got Jack Parow, Francois van Coke, Arno Carstens and tonnes more. They even brought back Johnny de Ridder for a quick little piano cameo for old time’s sake.
In fact, 2021 is more like their debut album than anything they’ve done in between. Electro samples are rife and somehow a whole lot more polished and considered than their last few offerings.
Rousing opening track “Mis Oor Die See” pulls a little touch of ’90s pop into the mix, house beats rule supreme in the likes of “Plekkie In Die Son” (they roped in slick rapper Early B here too), while “Bly By Die Huis” is a vocal-free collection of groovy samples bred for the hipster dance floor.
There’s more than enough of the ol’ anthemic ballad to keep all the old timers satisfied (think “Ons Moet Leef” and “Min Worries”) – but the real kickers come in the form of the unexpectedly funky hip-hop beat of “Mejuffrou Sonneblom”, and the live, goosebump-rendering version of cult favourite “Leja” that was recorded live at Francois en Vriende at the end of last year.
It’s one of the best releases to feature during lockdown – and, in fact, the year so far – so 2021 better be as good as its namesake.