The Very Best might not be dealing in hyperbole

By Mike Frash //

The Very Best //
Mezzanine – San Francisco
August 24th, 2012 //

The Very Best, a refreshingly unique mix of contemporary EDM-pop and the traditional music of Malawi, performed at Mezzanine to an oddly thin audience. MTMTMK, the group’s fourth studio album released recently to critical and general acclaim, and Malawi-born frontman Esau Mwamwaya along with London based DJ/producer Radioclit have produced a live production that is gearing up to sub-headline festivals by the 2013 festival season.

The show began with two top cuts from MTMTMK, “Adani” and “Moto”, and it was immediately clear Esau has a star quality — a combination of having an infectiously positive presence about him that matches the upbeat pace and tone of the group’s music and actually delivering on his vocal chops.

The duo is joined on tour by hype man and background singer Seye (pronounced “Cher” and is “Eyes Backwards” as he explained when performing the opening set). Seye certainly added an element of upbeat youthfulness with his super-upbeat kinetic energy on stage and early 80’s-inspired style. Two percussionists, mostly enhancing the dance tracks with driving bongos, helped connect Esau’s voice to the EDM build-ups and drops. All together, this hodgepodge of Afro-Western dance, hip-hop, pop and Malawian singing and percussion elements produces a sound that is uniquely theirs: They are not a simple Amadou and Mariam knockoff, nor do they pander to the most homogenous EDM trends of the moment.

The aspect of the beats and drops from Radioclit that are most memorable is the bass. Plain and simple. Drum and bass was the dominating factor in almost every song at this Very Best show until the disappointing encore, a half-baked overlay tracing Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There.” But it didn’t matter — after 90 minutes of non-stop dance and positive grooves, it was an appropriate wave goodbye.


  1. first blog post eva YEA

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: