Motèl Mari are João Orecchia, Mpumelelo Mcata and Tshepang Ramoba. Shortly after landing in Johannesburg in 2004, Orecchia, a Brooklyn born and schooled wanderer, who wound up in Berlin as a teenager messing with experimental punk before later moving to South Africa, heard some talk about a psychedelic afrorock outfit called BLK JKS. They became fast friends and have been working together on projects ever since.
Mpumi and Tshepang (guitar and drums respectively) 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. Slowly they started becoming a band. João Orecchia is a self-taught, non-musician who has been making music for many years. His fascination is in squeezing sounds out of anything and layering them on top of other sounds squeezed out of other things. From guitars to manipulated circuits and banjos to field recordings, João tries everything to get the perfect sound.
Mpumelelo Mcata is a self-taught, self-made “engine of ingenuity”. Growing up in Johannesburg he dreamt of the life he now has; playing rock guitar that is firmly planted among the roots of African music.
Tshepang Ramoba is a rock star, pure and simple. He is known for being notoriously famous amongst his loving band mates for being in three places at once…on the drum kit at least, and was once voted the best musician at SXSW by Billboard Magazine.
Amaze Fest 2013 (South Africa)
Fundación Telefónics 2013 (Peru)
La Gaîte Lyrique 2013 (France)
Urban Spree 2013 (Germany)
The Social 2013 (United Kingdom)