Review

Dagbreek, the latest offering from Somerfaan, is deceptively intricate and quietly touching

Somerfaan’s latest album Dagbreek is an intriguing journey through the complex landscape that makes up his mind.

After hitting cult-status with the SAMA-winning industrial band Battery-9 in the ’90s Somerfaan decided to strike out on his own and trade his axe in for loops, synths, and drum machines – diving head-first into the world of electronic exploration.

With two decades of experimentation under the Afrikaans songwriter’s belt Dagbreek sees Somerfaan at his most sentimental and ethereal, with “Oh My Heart” as an abstract, introspective number that’s at times reminiscent of Moby’s more tender work.

“Lang Pad Saam” and “Hart in jou driveway” keep the sentimentality but lose some of the abstraction, the latter a heartfelt cry for help and clarity. The hypnotic belligerence of “Ek wil net se” gives the album a welcome kick up the arse as Somerfaan breaks free from a bad situation with determination and finality.

The change in tone the aforementioned track brings is palpable as the album winds its way through a murky, manic-depressive landscape and comes to rest in an unsettling remix of the opening track by long-time collaborator Anton L’amour. The arrangements that make up Dagbreek might seem pretty simple at first glance but as the compositions envelop you, you’ll realise that between the notes there’s an intricate world to be explored again and again.