Four on saxes explore sounds

2015-09-01 06:00
Saxit! are (from left) Gareth Harvey, Simon Bates, Jade de Waal and Joel Benjamin.

Saxit! are (from left) Gareth Harvey, Simon Bates, Jade de Waal and Joel Benjamin.

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Cape Town saxophone quartet Saxit! is preparing a “diverse sonic experience” for their EP launch at Blah Blah Bar in the city centre on Thursday.

The multi-genre group has been working together since 2011 and is known for vibrant, sometimes brash but also sophisticated musical output.

Milnerton’s Gareth Harvey explains that they started the group as a means to learn new music and explore what they could do without a traditional rhythm section.

“We started playing small gigs around town and realised that people dig the sound, so we kept going, playing bigger venues and festivals and diversifying our repertoire.”

Gareth plays the baritone sax while Fairways’ Joel Benjamin is on lead alto/soprano sax, Jade de Waal from Gardens is on alto sax and Vredehoek’s Simon Bates is on tenor sax.

“The band members each bring their own personality and ideas to the music so we are able to keep the music diverse and nuanced,” Gareth says.

Saxit! recorded its self-titled EP at SAE Institute in Woodstock, which Gareth says has “a fantastic live room and equipment”.

The group spent time trying out different microphones, mic placements and spacing to find the perfect sound. They decided to record live without over-dubs.

“We tracked about two or three takes of each song and chose the best out of the lot.”

It was important for the quartet that their product was an “honest sound” with little processing and they even left some of their mistakes to give listeners more of a live experience.

With their music being completely instrumental, Gareth says they wanted a varied selection of sound to expose listeners to their different sides or styles.

“Some compositions take on a high energy groove while others are more laid-back and harmonically rich.”

Saxit!’s launch on Thursday will be a full-on show where they’ll be joined by local loop-based funk duo Loupe Deville. They will also be screening their short film project which they worked on with recording engineer Piero Capra. Two audience members will win a lucky prize before the band takes to the stage with songs from their EP and their regular repertoire. V

Tickets for the show at 20:30 cost R80 and include a free copy of Saxit!’s EP. Visit or Saxit!’s Facebook page or call Carsten Rasch on 082 349 8849 for more information.

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