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Ike Moriz: Breathing Dreams

Ike Moriz - Breathing Dreams (Mosquito Records London)
We don’t get to hear many South African artists. Ike Moriz is based in Cape Town, as is his record label, though its name suggests otherwise. A little online research indicates Moriz is something of a star in his home nation, and listening to “Breathing Dreams” it’s not difficult to understand why. For a start, there’s his voice. Pitched somewhere between David Bowie and Jack Bruce, Moriz takes hold of his material and dominates its tones and nuances with his utterly distinctive chords. It’s powerful and compelling, and is completely in tune with the drama of his songs.

And the songs are so ambitious. Produced and arranged for maximum impact, Moriz leads a huge band of musicians (14 are mentioned on his website, plus the South African vocal troupe Brothers With Voices) who take on genres as varied as glam, indie, alt. rock and pop reggae. Highlights are plentiful: “Atlantis” is keyboard driven with Moriz’ croon leading the way, “Still” is pristine, grown-up pop, the sort of thing Paddy McAloon did with Prefab Sprout during their heyday, and “(The Journey Of The) White Baboons” brings sunnier rhythms to bear. “Whatever” rocks gloriously and “Peace Dream (Upupha Ngoxoio)” includes the fore mentioned Brothers With Voices, and what a wonderful noise they make.

Rob F.