|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|
|Origin||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Years active||April 2003–present|
|Associated acts||The Spindle Sect, Mr Sakitumi, BEAST,|
Lark is a four-piece electronica band from South Africa based in Cape Town, who have been one of the key contributors to the rising Experimental and IDM crossover scene who have created a solid Grassroots following in South Africa, England and Germany through their EP Mouth of Me but have gained mainstream success through their debut album Razbliuto.
Lark was originally started as Inge Beckmann's solo project which was produced by Paul Ressel (also known as The Humanizer). While recording they met Simon "Fuzzy" Ratcliffe, who was the sound engineer and session musician at Sound & Motion Studios working on their recordings. While recording they asked Fuzzy to join the band. Lark then consisted out of Beckmann on vocals, Ressel on electronics (sequencers, analog systems and laptop) and Ratcliffe on bass (upright and electric) and woodwinds. These sessions soon turned into the band's debut, Mouth of Me. They started gigging in April 2003. The band won several awards including best South African alternative album. Despite its international success and loyal fanbase, the band was surprisingly not scheduled for Coke Fest 2008 in Johannesburg, which was considered the essential step to achieve international publicity.
Mouth of Me
After their first few gigs, they recruited popular session musician Sean Ou Tim on drums and entered Sound & Motion Studios in Cape Town, where they held the sessions for their first full-length album, "Mouth of Me".
The album contained massively popular tracks including Tricksy and Moonlight which were accompanied by a stunningly produced music video for Moonlight. Introduction to the mainstream population was given a boost when the Moonlight video was added to the play list of MK89 ("Musiek Kanaal" on Satellite TV provider DSTV channel 89), where it was accepted with open arms due to the more demure tone of the track and its visually stunning video.
In April 2007, the album won a SAMA for "Best Alternative Album". During the last quarter of 2007, Lark performed tracks from this album to a very excited crowd at the biggest event of the biannual Oppikoppi festival. Their performance was one of the biggest attractions and most celebrated of the 2007 event, leaving the overwhelmed crowds wanting more.
2009 – present
After a time Paul Ressel felt it was time to leave South Africa and go to the UK and the band had to take a hiatus. In 2009, Ramfest (an annual South African music festival) invited Lark to perform for the first time in a year and to do a national tour, no one expected the level of support they received on that tour which only confirmed that Lark is indeed one of South Africa’s best loved acts. The band released a live DVD titled ‘A Dagger and A Feather’ of one of their greatest stage performances of their career at the Pavilion Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa.
In 2010 Lark took on the stage at Ramfest once more to deliver their latest musical offerings along with some reworked tracks as well as launching their new single Vampire on their latest release titled V. The EP features before unreleased tracks Brave and Vampire along with remixes of Vampire by Mr. Sakitumi and Brave by electro producer Haezer.
Lark's music, according to their MySpace page, is influenced by artists such as Radiohead; Paul Ressel's MySpace page once stated that he was initially a rock musician, but was exposed to electronic music through Radiohead's milestone album Kid A. Lark may also be said to display a striking similarity to international groups such as Massive Attack and Portishead: firstly because both of these bands combine electronic sequencers with live instrumentation and sample manipulation (as Ressel states on his website: "The one thing I have tried to put forward in all my music is a fusion between organic sounds/acoustic instruments and mechanical electronica/digital programming,") and secondly because both groups feature a female lead voice. The resulting sound is eclectic, drawing on the rock, Western classical, electronic, and world vernaculars - everything from electric guitar to harpsichord to Aphex Twin-esque snare rushes to Ratcliffe's duduk. Classically trained singer Beckmann (who previously worked with industrial hip-hop group The Spindle Sect ) variously describes Lark's music as "alternative electro", "glitch opera", and "Nintendo-electro" on her MySpace page.
Inge Beckmann: vocals
Paul Ressel: music production & instrumentation, electric guitar
Simon "Fuzzy" Ratcliffe: upright bass, electric bass, flute, duduk
Sean Ou Tim: drum kit (acoustic and electronic)
- Mouth of Me (EP) (2005)
- Razbliuto (2006)
- Mouth of Me (2007)
- A Dagger and a Feather (Live DVD) (2008)
- V (EP) (2010)
- Gong Is Struck (2012)