Imagine a band that takes all of Vampire Weekend‘s modern prep-school afro-pop posturings but isn’t posturing at all because they’re actually from Cape Town.
Imagine a pop band that marries Clark’s twitchy damaged electronic experiments with Washed Out‘s gauzy romantic chilled waves with Paul Simon-esque melodies, if he released a Shangaan Electro fusion record on Mad Decent…
Good job, you’ve started to imagine John Wizards.
The unlikely collaboration between a 22-year-old South African homebody and a 39-year-old Rwandan refugee working as a security guard at a cafe has yielded one of 2013s most sumptuous listens. As if the universe itself was guiding John Wizards into being, John Withers and Emmanuel Nazaramba began working on the project but suddenly stopped when Nazaramba lost his job. Sometime later, Withers literally ran into Nazaramba on the street and the two were able to continue their work, which was later picked up by the veritable Planet Mu label.
A dreamy, envelope pushing work of electropop music John Wizards‘ debut is a truly truly special, beguiling album that catches with a single listen. It sounds like a perfect moment, the kind of collaboration that you hope has a long fruitful life but could be one of those singular events where everything just fell into place because the universe wanted it so.
That being said, I hope the universe wants John Wizards to keep doing exactly what they’re doing, because it’s good.