Pic by Ulandi Du Plessis
Goldfish rocked Rhodes once again as they dominated the stage at the 2008 O-Week street party. Deva Lee and Kaitlin Keet get up close and personal.
A fusion of jazz and deep funky house is what brings about the unique sounds of the two man group, Goldfish. The main inspiration behind this interesting blend of genres is jazz, because “most good music comes from jazz”, as Dominic Peters puts it. David Poole describes it as “a jazz subversive”. Their music is a complete intermingling of sounds, “combining instruments with electronica, in a non-traditional way,” says Peters. He and Poole studied at UCT and together created the eclectic tracks which they perform and mix live at their performances.
“We’re not really DJ’s,” says Poole, “but we fall into the DJ category because we play dance music”. “We’re more of a ‘live act’,” he says. This is what they have been referred to outside of South Africa, and no other description could be more appropriate. Poole plays the saxophone and flute, and Peters the Double Bass, while both electronically mix their original tracks – Peters using heat-sensitive decks to do so. These guys are true performers. “We don’t rehearse [for the shows], its different every time, there’s no set structure,” says Peters. Poole adds that because there are only two of them, they have more freedom when performing on stage.
The vocalists they use must have “a distinct voice,” says Peters, and, when explaining their choice in sound elements, Poole says, “We like them to have an organic edge, a warmth about them. In the digital age, sounds are very cold.” They prefer more rustic sounds to give the music “a bit more edge”.
Their sound lends itself to many genres, settings and age groups. Poole says that they are planning to do more shows that accommodate more than just the usual 18 to 30 target market, an example of which is the concert played at Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town. At the 2007 SHARC HIV Aloud concert, they played alongside rock bands, but they have also played in a line-up of house DJ’s at a club. The duo loved the street party gig they played at Rhodes in O-Week, saying that Rhodes students are a great crowd.
Goldfish is rapidly cracking into the international market and have plans to tour Europe in the near future, as well as live in Ibiza for a couple of months. They have been offered a residency at Pacha, one of Ibiza’s most renowned clubs.
A moment that sticks out in their career thus far is their opening for Pete Tong at a club next to Café Del Mar in Ibiza. They were witness to one of the island’s traditions. As Tong was playing, the sun began to set and “as the sun popped over the horizon the music stopped and everyone clapped,” says Poole. Tong followed this up with a high-energy track in celebration.
Peters believes that music is influenced by a number of things. “We both love an outdoor lifestyle,” he says and explains that they sometimes draw inspiration from the environment.
Peters was born in Zimbabwe and much of his extended family still live there. “I went back to Zim two years ago. It’s so mind blowing because I could see what it used to be, from what I remembered. You suddenly realise how lucky we [South Africans] are,” he says.