The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


LISTEN: John Wizards Quietus Mix
The Quietus , August 7th, 2013 10:48

Listen to a mix of influences, exclusives and incidental sound from Cape Town-based band, whose debut album is released through Planet Mu in September

Cape Town's John Wizards, based around the core duo of John Withers and Emmanuel Nzaramba, are set to release their self-titled debut album on 2nd September through UK electronic institution Planet Mu.

The story behind the band starts with the meeting of Withers - the ostensible bandleader and producer behind John Wizards - met Rwanda-born Nzaramba several years ago in Cape Town. Recognising a shared interest in music, the duo began working together, with Nzaramba singing on songs that Withers had written. This partnership eventually developed into their self-titled album, and the duo assembled a full band around them.

John Wizards is an infectious, spacious hybrid pop record, feeling centred around African musics but untethered to any one particular style - as Mu put it, it draws in elements of "African music, R&B and chamber pop, filtered through gentle electronic arrangements that cross-pollinate with South African house, Shangaan electro and dub".

In advance of the album's release the duo have put together an impressive, seamless and joyous mix of music for the Quietus, which serves as something of a road map of their influences. Like the album itself it drifts freely from style to style, based around a backbone of African pop but shifting from beat-driven electronic material into songwriting, soul and tightly-wound funk, a few John Wizards exclusives and urban background ambience. Listen via the embed below, and read the tracklist further down the page.

00:00-00:45 Joe Malinga Quintet - 'Zadibana'
00:45-02:40 Authority - 'Bayabaleka'
03:14-04:05 Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premiers Dance Band - 'Nyelu Nwa Ogbenye Aka'
04:05-04:22 The Flaming Souls - 'Modupe'
04:24-06:50 Yukihiro Takahashi - 'Flashback'
06:54 John Wizards - 'Mix 1'
07:50-10:00 Isao Tomita - 'The Girl With The Flaxen Hair'
10:00-12:00 Golden City Dixies - 'Faith Can Move Mountains'
12:00- 14:40 The Movers/John Wizards - 'Bump Special'
14:40-15:46 John Wizards - 'Mix 2'
15:55-19:00 Remy Ongala - 'Mrema'
19:15-21:37 Oliver Ngoma - 'Adia'
21:45-23:00 Al Green - 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart'
23:00-25:00 Change - 'Heaven of My Life (LP Version)'
25:00-26:25 Brenda & The Big Dudes - 'Mirror'
26:40 Ben Mayingane - 'Tiba Ben, Track 8'
28:40-31:16 DJ Clock - 'Ngomso/Hypersonic'
31:30-32:13 Lukas Ligeti - 'Circle's Tune 1 (John Wizards Remix)'
32:25-33:20 Brotherhood of Breath - 'Uqonda'
33:20-34:54 James Blake - 'I Only Know (What I Know Now)'
34:54-37:00 Janet Jackson - 'Got Til It's Gone'
37:00-37:17 Burundi Girl Sings Song of Greeting
37:37-38:36 Sikalo - 'Magwala Ndini'
38:37-38:50 Pepe Kalle - '500 kilos d'amour'
38:50-41:15 Milton Nascimento e Lô Borges - 'Cravo e canela'
42:36-44:03 A Tent - 'Seven Years Part II'

John Wizards is released on September 2nd via Planet Mu. For more information and to pre-order, click here to visit the Planet Mu website.