Kombuis Musiek

Various Artists sing the songs of Koos Kombuis
CD Cover

March 2002,
Fresh, freshcd 125

SA Rock Digest charts:
highest position: 3
weeks on Top 20: 7

Koos Kombuis


  1. Johnny is Nie Dood Nie - Frank Opperman
  2. Paranoia - Michael Simpson
  3. Onder in My Whiskeyglas - Tonia Selley
  4. Jive Baby Jive - Barbora Tellinger
  5. Voedselvergiftiging - Matthew van der Want
  6. Verslaaf - Not My Dog
  7. Diep Huis Kombuis - Streak & Tweak
  8. Lisa se Klavier - Q-Zoo
  9. Kytie - Liela Groenewald
  10. Imagine Ek en Jy - Paul Riekert
  11. Lalie - Philip Moolman
  12. Auotbank Vastrap - Gary Herselman

SA Rock Digest Issue #148, 25 March 2002

Isn’t it much nicer these days that artists can get to hear their own tribute albums? (the three remaining members of the Doors even played on theirs!). Here the only contribution to this album by the tributee is a few snatches of dialogue and guitar samples from his previous work. But this collection of Koos Kombuis songs, as interpreted by other SA artists, had the KK seal of approval before Gary Herselman and Matthew van der Want began this project. It was originally planned as a series of hip hop interpretations of some of Koos’ songs and the two believed that Koos wasn’t taking them seriously, but he gave his blessing anyway, "pleased that at least we f**ken asked him". And the "Baard van Gordon’s Baai" likes the results too - "...dis a collectors item wat ek trots sal wees om in my huis te hê" he confirms on the sleeve.

Gary Herselman’s association with Koos goes back to their co-involvement on the ‘Vöelvry’ tour, when Koos was then opening all those shows as Andre le Toit, just before he "gemorphed" into his new Koos Kombuis identity. As ‘Piet Pers’, Herselman played bass for the Gereformeerde Blues Band, and as ‘Bokkie Buys’ contributed bass to the ‘Niemandsland’ album. A conversation between Herselman and Matthew van der Want (also a longtime Kombuis devotee) eventually became a reality as the two produced, engineered and played all the instruments on almost all these tracks, with a stream of SA artists lining up to add vocals and ideas to the diverse arrangements.

The bulk of these 12 songs are drawn from the two epic albums ‘Niemandsland’ and ‘Elke Boemelaar Se Droom’, both released on CD in 1994. Frank Opperman’s opening version of the usually rocking ‘Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie’ gets deep into the soul of the song with his sensitive vocal over a restrained drum & bass beat. Michael Simpson gives ‘Paranoia’ a full kwaito make-over, Tonia Selley sings a straight-forward, soundtracky and utterly-gorgeous version of the classic ‘Onder In My Whiskeyglas’, and Liela Groenewald sings Koos’ ode to his long-missed domestic servant ‘Kytie’ with a dour tone over a beaty Mbaqanga backing. Q-Zoo then tackle ‘Lisa se Klavier’ and, although it’s a sweet and decent enough version, it somehow fails to catch the emotion in this often-covered song.

The rest of the songs are from other KK albums and sources - ‘Jive Baby Jive’ by Barbora Tellinger is a reworking of an old KK demo, ‘Imagine Ek En Jy’ was located on a rare KK home tape/bootleg by Paul Riekert and given some special treatment. Herselman and Van der Want (here credited as ‘Streak and Tweak’) also put together the dancey house opus, ‘Diep Huis Kombuis’. Afrikaans "geraas-masters", Not My Dog tear ‘Verslaaf’ to pieces in the grand old "Ek is veslaaaaaaf op rok en rol" tradition. On ‘Autobank Vastrap’, Gary Herselman uses a ‘Da Da Da’ Casio beat to close the album off on a typically weird note.

The really great tribute albums are rarer than a Randall Abraham compliment, and ‘Kombuis Musiek’, as with most tribute albums, lands up being a respectful and appropriate but quite strange mixture that is recommended mostly to all Koos Kombuis fans. But if you want to find out what all the fuss is about, then start with those two albums from 1994 or buy yourself ‘Mona Lisa’. (SS)

Koos Kombuis CDs and books are available from One World

Editor’s note: Koos Kombuis has pointed out that ‘Kombuis Musiek’ is the fourth consecutive compilation album to be released following the two ‘best of’ collections (‘Mona Lisa: Die Mooiste Love Songs Van Koos Kombuis’ and ‘ Koos Kombuis Greatest Hits’) and the ‘Blou Kombuis’ live album, and is concerned that "...people might start wondering if I ever write new stuff" But he assured the Digest that "...you can let them know there’s a big surprise coming later this year!"

-- Stephen Segerman

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