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Motèl Mari are João Orecchia, Mpumelelo Mcata and Tshepang Ramoba. Shortly after landing in Johannesburg in 2004, Orecchia, a Brooklyn born and schooled wanderer, heard some talk about a psychedelic afro-rock outfit called BLK JKS. They became fast friends and have worked together on projects ever since. Mpumi and Tshepang (guitar and drums) contributed to João's 2009 album, Hands & Feet, and would often join him on stage, adding thunderous beats and general bigness to the otherwise textural and floating soundscapes.
And João thus continued writing this music with his friends and their psychedelic African rock tendencies in mind. João's skeletons gained flesh and meat in the studio with Mpumi and Tshepang.
The impact of this new process is tangible, with the result far closer sonically to that of a band than Orecchia’s previous methods: working primarily alone, gathering material from others to chop and arrange. In fact, the process-transformation beckoned a new name, Motél Mari.