Breathe Sunshine - Various Artists

2006-12-04 13:16
Vol. 3 features Goldfish, Johnny Clegg, and Paul Van Dyk on a remix of the first compilation's title track, the revenue from which goes to Aids charity dance4life. Plus there's a genuinely good VJ DVD of all the songs - the perfect visual soundtrack to a summer braai in SA.

The compilation opens with a new mix of Goldfish's "Mbira Beat" and chills out with Cyclops' "Civicus in the City". The VJ for this shows skylines and the tug at the heartstrings familiar yellow trains. Have tissues handy if watching this in London with a bunch of ex-pats. They're likely to stop whining about "the crime" back home for five minutes and have a good old South Efrikan homesick blub. The Liquid Fridge have done a fantastic job with the accompanying visuals, which also make use of the work of Nick Myburgh, Trenton Birch and Martin Sims.

Chillout isn't as big as it used to be, but not being fashionable doesn't make it any less enjoyable for real music lovers. And even the semi-cover of "Summertime" by LoHiFi dates surprisingly well even though this track has been covered so many times you'd have to sink a mineshaft to find an original way to do it.

Sticking with the big names: Kalahari Surfers make an entrance with the warm rhythmic groovyness of "Fish Effect" (my personal vote for best track on the compilation), Goldfish surface with "The Real Deal", and Paul Van Dyk remixes Dino Sofos' "Breathe Sunshine" for charity... If cheese isn't your thing, this vintage softy's awkward composition will probably annoy you more than an old lady with an animal rights collection box despite the vastly smoother touch Van Dyk's dreamy production gives it here. Still, the big name's involvement can only do our local talent good, and if that's the song he liked, so be it.

What you get here is the sound of your urbanised, African home - the world outside the gated villages but not far down the street. Of course, it's likely to sell better as "world" music to themed cafes, bars, restaurants, and their patrons than it will in SA. Unfortunately the slightly dated album cover design itself may put a few people off it. Dawn shots of waves are just a little bit too late 90s for anyone's blood.

- Jean Barker

DOWNLOAD tracks by artists featured on this album

Goldfish "All Night", Podcast, and "Love and Hate".

Kalahari Surfers' three great tracks.

This CD and DVD presents music buyers with a classy bargain - a CD mixtape of cutting edge popular South African electronica.

What to read next: Kalahari

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