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Scaling new heights

Scaling new heights

We caught Goldfish play live at the Miami Winter Music Conference this year and can't wait to hear them again this summer at Pacha Ibiza.

Not all goldfish suffer from short-term memory loss. Especially not when it comes to such events as the 4664 AIDS awareness concert in Johannesburg last year, which David Poole of South African duo Goldfish says was the highlight of their career so far. Not just because they played to tens of thousands but because Goldfish also got to meet their country's former president Nelson Mandela in person.
"Obviously, he's known all around the world as an amazing person but when you meet him he just has this whole aura around him," David enthuses. "Since Mandela came along and changed the country and the regime in 1994 there's been an enormous cultural growth in South Africa.
"For a large part of the last century no-one wanted to be patriotic about South Africa but now people are really proud of what's happening here. There's a new sound, which I think is part of this new culture forming, which integrates different elements of African, English and Afrikaans cultures."

If the man who led the fight against apartheid still represents the face of the new South Africa in many people's minds, then David and his musical partner Dominic Peters represent the sound. Two former students of the Jazz College at the University of Capetown, David and Dominic decided to form Goldfish after they began to feel increasingly restricted within the traditional jazz bands in which they were playing at the time, from which the fusion of jazz and electronics they were hearing in the likes of Kruder and Dorfmeister seemed to offer an escape.
"I was playing tenor sax and Dominic was playing upright bass but we were getting bored of just doing background stuff," David recalls. "We were getting very excited by dance and electronic music and we were looking for a way to play all these instruments and do electronic music at the same time. We'd seen all these DJs getting the limelight for playing other people's records so we decided to take them on!"

The live show they've developed through rigorous touring across South Africa and beyond is at the core of what makes Goldfish so special. Bulwarked around a mixing desk through which they can phase in samples and beats, David and Dominic then turn their hands to saxophone, flute, upright bass and keyboards on stage, creating something that has both the solid dancefloor anchor of house and the fluid improvisatory qualities of jazz.
We come from quite a chilled laidback background but our stuff has definitely been getting more uptempo as a result of the live show," David believes. "Playing live you can see how your music affects people and works in different environments and you can twist the tracks to reflect that in the studio. Being able to perform in clubs has definitely been crucial to our music spreading like wildfire across South Africa."

Indeed, in South Africa David and Dominic are currently one of the country's most popular homegrown bands. Their debut album 'Caught In The Loop' flew off the shelves upon its release in 2005, new single 'This Is How It Goes' is on heavy radio rotation there and they're regularly turning hundreds of people away from their packed beyond capacity gigs.
And now Goldfish look set to storm onto the international stage as well, principally thanks to the hefty push they're being given by Pacha Recordings, who signed them after they performed in Ibiza last year and are not only putting out Goldfish's new album under their 'Perceptions Of Pacha' brand, but have booked them in for four gigs at Pacha Ibiza - on 20th June, 11th July and 8th & 29th August.
"It's great because Ibiza is the hub and Holy Grail of dance music," David says. "It's definitely influenced our new album, which is a lot more vibey although not quite as in-your-face as the live show."