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This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Vermaak | Entertainment > Musiek | Music > Rubrieke | Columns > Annie Klopper: Rockjagter

Thomas Krane debuts gliding on sweet lo-fi energy

Annie Klopper - 2010-03-24

Title: Thomas Krane
Band: Thomas Krane
Click here to order the CD!

It doesn’t happen often that one is confronted with an artist or band so refreshing that trying to draw comparisons, finding links and descriptions is so strenuous that it actually spoils the mere pleasure of just enjoying the blissful indescribability. When I first saw Thomas Krane, a newish band from Durban, perform at RAKA – an acoustic festival held on the outskirts of Swellendam in February – I initially had to force myself to just sit back and enjoy the music instead of feverishly delving into my vocabulary in order to describe this unique sound to friends. After listening to the self-titled debut album for a few weeks (straight), I have now had time to digest this awesome find, but am still struggling in my attempt to box it into words.

Subtly gliding on beautifully sweet low-fidelity energy, Thomas Krane gently breaks things down and then puts them back together again, leaving you feeling more conscious. This band, consisting of Daniel Hampton (vocals, guitar), his sister Mary-Anne Hampton (backing vocals and design), Gary Jennings (guitar), Tyrin Hale (bass) and Craig Reed (drums) seems to have managed, thankfully, to completely ignore what is currently happening on the South African music scene. The result is heartfelt and pure and creates a sort of soothing, uplifting melancholy.

As the ever alluring debate about authenticity rages on, one is cautious to use the word “original” when reviewing anything. However, the only obvious influence I could detect is that of Modest Mouse. The music follows in the shoegaze tradition, and whether it is knowingly or unknowingly done, Daniel’s vocals sometimes remind me of Devendra Banhart. It does very much lean towards being original and is still untainted by producers or mastering. The band tells me that this is the idea and that recording in a messy bedroom created the sound they wanted.

What is interesting about this band’s endeavour is that lines between art, literature fashion and music are being rightfully blurred. They list award-winning Japanese author Haruki Murakami as one of their biggest influences and one can receive a CD only on buying one of Mary-Anne’s designed T-shirts. Fashion and music intertwined, they run the website www.hruki.com where both their merchandise and music are on offer.

Also lyrically the band’s artistic nature is evident. The imaginative lyrics do not fail to conjure up various pictures and moods. The song entitled “a siamese love song” will haunt you for days, telling the touching tale of siamese twins in the womb:

what they noticed on the sonar
hard to comprehend
I was bulging from your waistline
sewn into your hem
lead me till the morning
I don’t need to understand
I am wrapped inside you
you don’t need to take my hand
the world can’t hold a love like this
we share the same heart.

In “song from a hospital number one” a simple scene is masterfully drawn:

take me home, there’s too much waiting in the waiting room
and I need more attention
cleaning lady smiled at me when she took the bin
that I got sick in.

This band is not to be ignored. In a world where our existence is freaking us out, it is sometimes important to look on the bright side:

you and I might never know true love, but at least we could share its absence.

Whether Thomas Krane will, as planned, remain lo-fi and indie or be swept up by a record label, remains to be seen. But it is difficult to imagine not liking this band, either way.

Photos: Annie Klopper