Their comfortable, warm fusion melts snatches of rich homegrown mbaquanga vocals with the pulse of post-chillout beats and controlled electronic wizardry - you know, just enough synth to remind you that the aliens may already have landed, but not so much that you wish they'd just go home and let you sleep.
They're very Cape Town, and definitely appeal to a good looking clique. Think cocktails in Camps Bay or a sweaty night in an open air Greenpoint club's courtyard, not beer in Long Street.
Goldfish have their origins in long-life, heavily pasteurized jazz outfit Breakfast Included, who were nothing if not solid, and tended to score plenty of well paid gigs making an atmosphere. You'd expect to see them at the launches of music festival, playing the coffee shift at the same festivals, warming up the waterfront... they are respected, if mutedly.
Caught in the Loop is much fresher and more interesting than anything Breakfast Included did, though. The emotional appeal added by vocalists Melanie Scholtz, Monique Hellenberg, David Pool and in particular the deep-voiced Zimbabwean Max Vadima, combined with simple but perfectly evocative lyrics stir hopeful and, for want of a better word, "Summer" feelings. The varied intricacy of the dance beats playing friendly games with the melodies carried by sax, flute, guitar, keyboards and voice will wipe the sneer off all but the most stubborn rock fan's face. Let's hope it also reminds dance fans that chilled needn't mean chilly and creepy, and that live electronica can give most mere recordspinners a serious run for their money.
The bonus DVD really is a bonus. It includes a geekishly charming interview with Goldfish and a very cool VJ version of the CD with graphics by Laminawe, which mix heavily digitised forms with shots of table mountain, windsurfering, beach scenes and club scenes.
Goldfish are not just the coolest chilled dance act on the club scene this summer. Though they're fantastic live, this album proves they record like a dream. They make lasting music you can really live to, wake up to and come down to.
- Jean Barker
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