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The Skabengas bring the Balkans to the Highveld with style

November 14, 2012
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I really dig party bands. It’s just awkward when you really want to show some grooving love for an artist but can’t quite pick up a dance beat in the song, so sort of stand around awkwardly appreciating their fine playing. Luckily, that’s never going to happen with The Skabengas, because bouncing beats pour out of their tunes like gas bubbles out of a new bottle of Coke.

The Skabengas are a Johannesburg five-piece Balkan-laced, African ska band, and their music is as infectious as your mom. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.)

They took the long and artistic route of slowly piecing the band together by finding all the members along their journey – Luc Spiller and David Constantaras – the two gents who you’ll find front and centre on stage -  had been jamming together since university years, Twyla Spiller – the tiny lady with the large horn sound – hopped on stage with them during an open mic night once and they never let her off again. With Jimmy Mngwandi on bass and Mlungisi Shongwe added on drums, The Skabengas were finally set to become a regular member of the local music scene.

…a new cross-over brand of music, mixing sounds from Latin America and the Balkans to Soweto and Joburg. The result is a foot stomping, heart thumping psychedelic fusion of gypsy, folk, jazz and roots music.

The six track debut EP from The Skabengas is a rollicking, rolling collection that never dwells on a beat or word too long, hopping instead from reggae to Mediterranean vibes on a dime, making for happy listening when you’re in your car or at your desk, and great goddamn party jamming at a live gig.

Stream it here:

Monica Davies

Monica Davies

Four years ago, Monica needed a new hobby, so she started this blog. Right now, she can't believe people are still reading it. If you are, she loves you for it.

She believes John Lennon's Imagine is a blueprint for a perfect world and that a house should never not have wine in it. She is currently failing at going vegan.

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