Jobug-based band Polar Dust has released pictures from a recent photoshoot with the talented snap guru Jacques Schutte from Reflective Flair Photography aka Schutter Nutter Schutte.
Sara X, Polar Dust’s vocalist and guitarist, was the mastermind behind the shoot. Sara explains: “The concept is that you get kind of treated as an outlaw when you do something interesting and different in this country… instead of being a carbon copy of an overseas band in order to make money.”
Polar Dust is a post-punk/electro rock band if it needs to be boxed in. This unique band does not concede to musical limitations or public demand for overproduced bubble-gum tripe. “The system only wants a certain type of sound because it sounds familiar to the general public,” Sara explains. But as depicted in the photo shoot “one is always forced into a box or jail”.
Guitarist Johan Vos says: “The metaphor of being beaten up also reflects the pain an artist must endure, in effort to create. It reflects the ostracization of musicians who breathe their life blood and not sell their souls to the crap played on radio in order to enjoy the fruits of the root of all evil. Freedom and the lack thereof are also mirrored in the photoshoot.”
The band is working on a new album and will be playing fewer gigs, in order to release it this year.
A Cape Town tour is also on the cards for 2017.
“Dose Of My Dark Side” is the third single of Polar Dust’s debut album ‘Into the Burning Water’ which was released November 2014.
The dreamchild of Sara ‘X’ Eksteen, Polar Dust was formed in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2006. The band,
then consisting of Guðrún Sif Eldon on bass and Ellen Augland on drums , debuted at the Lung-A
Festival in Seyðisfjörður in 2008. Since then it has developed through numerous incarnations,
reforming with drummer Mark Trafankowski and bassist Alexia Cocolas (Darla Dark) when
Sara X returned to her homeland of South Africa in 2010.
Having spent 7 years in Iceland, exploring its culture and music scene, and drawing on early
musical influences such as Nine Inch Nails and as wide-ranging as Tori Amos, trip-hop, acid
jazz, house, hip hop and South African kwaito music, Sara fused a sound that is distinct yet
familiar. Contrast has always been a strong element of inspiration and Sara enjoys bringing
together usually divergent sound styles and shaping them into a single entity that is Polar
Dust’s signature sound, a maverick against the mainstream music of today.
Starting with piano lessons at age 6 and classical guitar a little later, then moving onto bass
in her teen years, playing in punk and metal bands as well as being exposed to a variety of
genres whilst working as a vinyl-DJ, Sara eventually settled in Iceland after spending a year
in London, and there began distilling the first ethereal grooves of Polar Dust, drawn from a
font of diverse musical and life experiences.
The non-conformist front woman explains that Polar Dust “tackles the states of
consciousness and subconsciousness we go through when getting involved in emotional
and difficult situations of our everyday life, how we choose to deal with love, life or death and
whether we can let go of the emotional turmoil of the situation. It questions our ability to
know when to detach from getting too involved in a moment by overanalyzing and dissecting
our own minds and so self-destruction takes place”.
After returning to South Africa, Sara added Darla Dark on bass and Mark Trafankowski on
drums upon which they actively continued to performed in Johannesburg before
commencing the recording of the album “Into The Burning Water”.
Polar Dust has featured on the international compilation Absolute Grrrls Manifesto released
by the label Alfa Matrix, featuring other underground bands with female-only vocalists such
as Tristania, The Birthday Massacre, and Liv Kristine (Theatre of Tragedy).
Due to health reasons, Darla Dark left the band and Evert Snyman (Black Pimpin’ Jesus,
Pink Noise, Pollinator) filled in on bass for a while.
The band has released their debut album “Into The Burning Water” in November 2014, for
which they have filmed a music video trilogy (of the singles Drown In You, Deep End, and
Dose of My Dark Side). Crafted over the course of two years, the album also features
guitarist, Gerhard van der Merwe and was produced by Jon Buckley who previously
pro duced name such as New Academics, Jo Day, Toxic Shame, The Awakening.
Released in November 2014, “Into The Burning Water” and saw Polar Dust embark on a
new era of its musical evolution.
In 2015, Rhett Freeman, joined full-time on bass and soon after added Johan Vos on
additional guitar. Mark Trafankowski soon after also left Polar Dust in 2016 to pursue
fatherhood and was soon after replaced by Leon Kemp on drums ( In Misery).
Polar Dust is currently working on new material for their second album.
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