TKZee - Coming Home

2009-11-09 11:16
Coming Home
Coming Home gets off to a slow, languid start with “Everyday” – a lush-textured summer jam that smacks with a hi-life tone and yet moves to a quiet swerve more suited to the hammock than the dance-floor. There’s a brush of jazz trumpetry, soft drawn synths and wobbling, spiked keyboard effects as Bouga Luv playfully pulls sweet-nothings through nursery-rhyme format; Tokollo sets a raspy-voiced kwaito agenda; and Zwai glues it all together with smooth vocals. It’s one to butter up the ladies. It recalls TKZee Family’s “Fiasco” except without the verve, excitement and outright dance-floor wrecking potential. Well-mannered and reserved, it isn’t exactly the kind of hell-raising kick-start you’d like to see break the trio’s eight-year hiatus. But it carries its weight.

Next up is “Dikakapa” – and well, this is more like it! This is an arrival. Hard-hitting and up-tempo, it’s a classic Tokollo and Bouga Luv tag-team updated to the edge of 2009. Zwai’s production has never had much of that lo-fi kick characteristic of most early kwaito – he’s always gone for a glossier, nuanced production template. That’s what set TKZee apart – aside from the heavy hip hop influence in the way they composed their verses and structured their choruses. On “Dikakapa” Zwai more or less goes with this same flow while Tokollo and Bouga Luv make a strong case of still having it.

After this, things take a bit of dip with “Viva La Pantsula!” which brings Gwyza, S’Bu and Loyiso on board. It’s not so much a bad song as it a bit slow and sleepy for what it is – a defiant celebration of ipantusula by amapantsula. Sure, it’s good of the Guz trio to (momentarily) pull kwaito stalwarts Gwyza and S’Bu out of obscurity, but it’s a reunion wasted. The sweeping horns and too-soft chorus give it a nostalgic accent, slowing it down to the pace of elderly gents held in reminiscence instead of what it should be – TKZee coming back to galvanize kwaito’s dozing heart.

Overall, Coming Home carries a low-keyed and laid-back sound. On most songs, it chooses relaxed and measured steps over going wild and aggressive. But that’s not to say it’s boring – no, far from it. Tokollo, Kabelo and Zwai are perfectly capable of doing what they were doing 10 years ago and they know it (they even prove it on two or three tracks – “Dikakapa”, “Show Off” and “Bhumpa Nathi” come readily to mind). But that’s not what they want to do here. Instead, Coming Home prides itself in being eclectic and versatile: from the party-ready pan-Afro-pop feel of “Skang’Tella” to the gritty, distinctly hip hop flow of “Older” where English raps meet Motswako over a screeching electric guitar; from the 90’s house flavoured “Let’s Go” and the disco-funked “S’Dudla” to the album’s serious moments, “Coming Home” – a take on gospel with Joyous Celebration and Ntokozo Mbambo – and “Children Hold On”, a slow meditative cover that has Zwai on the vox, Bouga on the raps and Tokollo on the swaggering kwaito postures.

With Coming Home TKZee prove why they’ve earned legendary status in the South African music scene. It’s a solid, mature album that extends their catalogue into new territories while retaining the feel and versatility that got them to be favourites to begin with.

We can breathe easy.There’s a breath yet, left in kwaito.
TKZee return after an eight-year hiatus with an album that’s both familiar and fresh, proving why they’re still regarded as legends.

Themba 2009/10/30 9:50 AM
Bra G 2009/11/01 7:09 AM
Welcome back TKZEE and don't you dare go MIA on us for such a long time ever again. The music scene is richer for their unique beats and upbeat joints and this brilliant combination allows them to shine individually and collectively as South Africa's #1 artists. These guys are pioneers and my prediction is PLATINUM CD sales are on the way plus see you at the SAMA's -its gonna be your night! Peace , Bra G
Chief 2009/11/02 9:00 AM
Hail the Kings of Kwaito...TKZee are to local music what the O'Jays are to true rhytem and blues...welcome back.
fraud 2009/11/02 9:58 AM
Ima buy this!!!!
cheese boi 2009/11/02 10:16 AM
I'm buying this without a doubt. TKZee welcome home
Tha fan 2009/11/02 10:44 AM
They will never be a group like TKZee in our life times. Gentlemen, arrogance & ego's aside...lets get this one home. Buy yourself a copy! The kings, the chesse-boys, the slik & elegant boys are back. Do I hear Melanie Son, Noni Gasa, Felicity, Unathi, Uyanda Mbuli, Gerri Eldson and all other smart elegant women screaming. Forget Mshoza, Khanyi, Khabonina and other fakers. TKZEE IS BACK!
Tha fan 2009/11/02 11:23 AM
Album in shops today 2 Nov. I'm told its selling like HOT CAKES in MUSICA stores. Bra G I agree with you. This one is definetly a platinum cd. Dlala Mapantsula.
Xolani 2009/11/02 11:41 AM
Well come back Mapantsula where is Kabelo Mabalane
tshepo 2009/11/04 3:25 PM
I love the concept behind the cover it shows that the trio really come far from where they presently are!xx
TNC 2009/11/05 2:19 PM
Lets hope their album revives the KWAITO genre because its been dead for a while....
@the fan 2009/11/06 7:53 AM
Album went GOLD on its first day of release.
Khathu Nephalela 2009/11/06 9:21 AM
Tkzee thank you for reviving the good olden days your album really rocks.
Xolie. 2009/11/06 1:00 PM
Bafethu nganisho ke le photo engaphandle what does it mean ? it mean something. To me it shows that the real,real solidiers are back to home with crown.Reply
masta pee 2009/11/07 9:48 AM
TKZEE rocks from the minimum to the maximum guys just hold on you realy made after ages we missed you a lot and I am enjoying this one lyk something i dont know. This is a xmas gift for kwaito fans. Just hold on.
spook 2009/11/08 4:39 PM
I have copped the album and its explosive.The Pioneers are back with a killer album my people.Great review also Masande,clearly u listened to the album aunlike most crictics and hope to hear more of your reviews .This is the qalbum of the year ,Check out Show Off ,Bumpa Nathi those are rubber stamped bumpers ,welcome home boys
Suhla 2009/11/15 8:53 PM
Very impressed wit Tkzee. From 1996 followin these guys no disappointment wit them. I highly recommend their musical skills. I've got a copy i am enjoying all de way. Sijaiva nge-Older this festive. Siphumula nge-Coming Home. Beautiful album to say. Emba for real.
Chauccer 2009/12/14 12:09 PM
After all these years still "z'hlala zloliwe zibkhali mnganami!!!" to all kwaito hatters in general, PassOp TKZEE is gonna knock you out. Especially now that we are "OLDER". God Ilove the track! I also like the fair album review. WozoBUMPA NATHI lesummer, Shamba laph'esifunda khona ngalesgubh esgob' indonda!! GUZ LUV FOREVER!!!!!!!!
Krazzy 2010/08/20 11:36 AM
All I can say is TKZee ke manyora....Aha, aha aha aha!!!
Stu 2011/01/21 11:07 AM
Kwaito ya mampela!TKZee is so musical."...noba ba ngathini banga thanda amakhishi mina ngi phuma elokishini khona daar..." Dankie Magesh! punch line
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