Eclectic is a term that gets abused and horribly over-used. Often hyperbolised and pinned on those making the smallest creative jumps (say, from using three chords to four), it leaves those diving into the diverse sharing the same water. Cape Town-based John Wizards are truly eclectic, pulling in disparate strands of funk, pop, slow-jam R&B, dub reggae and a wealth of disparate African styles. Curated and created over the course of two years in John Withers’ bedroom, it’s a debut that bubbles with charm and life, rich rhythms and gentle, drifting melodies.

You can’t help but be disarmed when the giddy ‘I’m Still a Serious Guy’ and the cartoon pop of ‘Lushoto’ bound into focus, or surprised by the unexpected momentum that ‘Finally / Jet Up’ determinedly builds. And this vast array lends ‘Jamieo’ its smooth, grooving lounge melodies and soft backing guitar, ‘LEUK‘ its easy-going, shape-shifting R&B interludes, and ‘Muizenberg’ its bright, upbeat electro-pop flicker. Whatever you take from John Wizards, it’s unlike anything else you’ve heard this year.


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