Words by Lezza
The full Dope show
“Rise and shine” is what Moodphase 5ive have done in the past two or so years, moving from a band little known beyond the shadow of Table Mountain to a group who groove across the length of South Africa. This is largely thanks to the recent release of their first album, "Steady On", and their travelling to major cities (Bloemfontein, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg) as part of the African Dope Tour. 206, always known for supporting South African Hip-Hop, was pleasantly packed for the African Dope show, Jozi jollers being eager to get a glimpse of what the Capetonians had to offer. Disappointment was not on the menu! Travelling along with MP5 are the African Dope Records initiators Krushed and Sorted and solo trip-hopper Felix Laband, another recent release on the label. African Dope seems to have secured some of the most forward-thinking artists in South Africa, and Moodphase 5ive are rightfully proud of the independence their label has retained.
After a warm-up on the decks from Krushed and Sorted and a low-key Joburg debut by Felix Laband, Ernestine (or Lady E, on lead vocals), D-Form (lead vocals), Douglas Armstrong, Bood Carver (guitar) Brian de Goede (drums) and Craig Damster (keyboard and drums) took to the stage. Performing tracks off “Steady On”, along with a healthy dose of improvisation, Moodphase 5ive showed why they are one of the most distinctive bands on the South African scene. One scoop of The Brand New Heavies, one scoop of Digable Planets and a drizzling of SA chocolate sauce, Moodphase 5ive has a sound that’s both as local as ‘takkies’ and pure international velvet. They’re about the problems in the SA ghettos, Hip-Hop music, keeping your life on track and the unique culture of Cape Town.
On this particular night, “Steady On’ and "Addict" had the crowd bouncing, while more chilled tracks like "Freekstyle" and "Paradise syndrome" demonstrated MP5’s skills at thought-provoking lyrics. No doubt a fair part of the crowd’s enthusiasm was for the gorgeous Lady E, a modern African goddess like few other, with mellifluous voice to match. Also impressive was the band members’ versatility, with two of them alternating instruments at times, and D-Form’s much applauded prowess at beatboxing. Moodphase 5ive showed themselves capable of both streetwise intelligence and a fun-loving party sense, and unwilling to let them finish, the crowd demanded an encore. Here’s hoping there will be many of those for them in Jozi!