- A breathtakingly zany debut album.
- Through a chance encounter at a house party in Stockholm, three former EDM producers and a South African hipster photographer struck gold. Adrian Lux and the duo of Carli Löf and Måns Glaeser (AKA Savage Skulls) had separately been making pop-EDM and electro since the late '00s. Meeting Kamohelo Khoaripe—who had never MC'd before but who Glaeser thought had a distinctive speaking voice—led to them making their first Off The Meds track, the drunken freestyle "Geraas," that night. Now, they're following up a hit single on Studio Barnhus with their first album.
Off The Meds call themselves a "techno boyband" but there's not much that's techno about the music. What they do is something of their own, an explosive mix of rap, dancehall, gqom, house, acid and funky. For those whose first encounter with Off The Meds was the aptly-titled Belter, this album will have a welcome range of moods, building on the dread of that 12-inch with humour, brilliant colours and a heavy dose of charisma.
Johannesburg-born MC Kamohelo Khoaripe's flow is raw and distinctive. Mixing Zulu, Tsotsitaal and English, often within a single sentence, he mainly ad-libs with inspired, pidgin-like chatter. The infectious and direct "Factory Workers" is a prime example of his stream-of-consciousness-style delivery, while "Hiccups" shows him in a more narrative mode. During some Off The Meds shows in past years, there were whole crowds of Swedish fans singing the words back, presumably with no idea what they were saying.
Though Khoaripe brings the group's most obvious flair, even an instrumental version of the album would be off the wall. Technical chops polished in the mainstream give the LP a radiant finish. "Vice Versa" is a production highlight, as are the hyperactive "Wena" and the oddball acid of "Dr. Silencer." The relatively downtempo first single "Karlaplan" stands out stylistically. Khoaripe apologises that he's on the track at all, as it's already such a "big tune yeah." It's the most traditionally melodic and accessible cut, glowing with self-referential charm. But, most of all, it sounds like it was great fun to make.
01. Bheka Mina
02. Fani Madida
05. Factory Workers
06. Voice Of Meds
08. Catch my Breath
10. Vice Versa
11. Dr. Silencer
13. Currency Low (bonus track)
14. Belter (bonus track)