Photos by Isaac Vallentin
Bosveld’s view of folk, seen through an electro-acoustic lens, gives the genre a welcome identity crisis. Meditative, processed saxophone weaves through cyclical, acoustic guitar rhythms; dropping mixtapes goes hand-in-hand with playing house concerts. Delicate vocals and tender songwriting merges with boundless synthetic fields.
In Afrikaans, the word ‘bosveld’ itself denotes a region of vast fields and rugged terrain. And just as the landscape of the bosveld is full of diverse and varied imagery, Bosveld’s sonic landscape is rich with evolving textures and dynamic changes, open to greater discovery with every listen. The seeds that grew into Bosveld are likewise diverse: folk songwriters like Nick Drake, the guitar compositions of South-African musician Derek Gripper, and U.K. bass music were the influences that bound Théan Slabbert and his band members together in 2013.
Their debut full-length album Veldbrand, Afrikaans for ‘fields of fire,’ features Slabbert’s cascading acoustic guitar and Jeremy Mulder’s slowly-evolving saxophone lines surfacing above or drowning in electronic textures. On Veldbrand, Slabbert’s closest friends feature as collaborators, including Mulder, Pascal Delaquis (Hilotrons), Philippe Charbonneau (Scattered Clouds, Hilotrons) and Jean-François Beauchamp (Kalle Mattson, Amos The Transparent).
Bosveld is a bike-touring, modular, Canadian, psych-folk project led by SA-born musician-producer Velodrones (Turt “Théan” Darren).
“Oddly captivating and one of 2015′s must-listens.” –CBC Music
“Veldbrand is that rarest of treasures, an unexpected joy to discover, and the kind of record you can’t imagine ever having to live without. May it never slip from memory.” –Quick Before It Melts
“Listen again and again.” –Apartment613
“Didn’t leave my head for weeks…” –Grayowl Point
“Slowed down time.” –Ottawa Showbox
“The record has been receiving plenty of blogosphere love, with whispers of Polaris potential. We concur.” –New Canadian Music
“Really incredible music… brilliant… could very well represent the future sound of folk music.” –Mixtape Magazine
“These songs leave one wide-eyed and parched for more.” –Exclaim!
“An exquisite record… it is rare that a small indie band releases a self-produced debut that sounds as refined as Veldbrand.” –The Indie Blender
“This mixtape is already an early contender for our favourite releases of the year. Their sound takes you through dreamlands.”
“Future-folk Bosveld delivered a set that kept those in attendance enthralled from start to finish.”
“…dreamy electro folk goodness.”
“Had either of you taken on an [1,100km] bike trip like this before… at all?”
“Anchored in rich textures and the artful melancholia of British folk like Nick Drake or John Martyn, Bosveld will swaddle you in a blanket of drifting stanzas and rich electronics.”