Posts Tagged ‘spoek mathambo’

Preview | The Future Sounds of Mzansi

Posted on June 23rd, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


Spoek Mathambo releases the trailer for his documentary on electronic music in South Africa, The Future Sound of Mzansi, after two years of research and exploration with film-maker Lebogang Rasethaba. 

“Our mission was simple – to meet up with some of our heroes, colleagues, competition, and co-conspirators… an ever potent gang of electronic music pioneers sculpting The Future Sound of Mzansi.” This is what Spoek Mathambo had in the trailer for his upcoming documentary, two years in the making with Lebogang Rasethaba, on South Africa’s electronic music scene.

In fact, it is a little more complicated than Spoek makes out. A description accompanying the trailer, released last week ahead of the promotional cut screening at Sonar, Barcelona, explains why this is more than a look at the music scene. The documentary ‘aims to explore, express, and interrogating [sic] South Africa’s cultural landscape… 20 years into its democracy.’ The documentary looks at music as a medium through which a country steeped in poverty, crime, and injustice can envision a future ‘blindingly beautiful and bursting at the seams with youth energy and talent.

Mujave, Black Coffee and Christian Tiger School will feature along with various other electronic artists from across Mzansi (the colloquial Xhosa term for South Africa), as Spoek and Rasethaba explore everything from deep house to glitch hop, kwaito-house, township tech, sghubu sapitori (yes, really!) to dubstep; super khawuleza and shangaan electro. As an advertisement for the film puts it: ‘Welcome to the apartheid after-party.

Listen to The Future Sound of Mzansi Mixtape by Spoek


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New Spoek Mathambo video: ‘Awufuni’

Posted on August 15th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

Spoek Mathambo 1 (2012)

Colourful South African tribute from Soweto singer

Eccentric Soweto-born singer, rapper and producer Spoek Mathambo recently unveiled his latest visual creation as part of Studio Africa’s upcoming music video releases. Inspired by 60s South African female group Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje, the track samples ‘Awufuni Ukulandela Na?’

Last year’s widely acclaimed Father Creeper (Sub Pop) was full of Spoek’s self-proclaimed ‘township techno’; a unique blend of rap, kwaito and electro beats.

Spoek Mathambo – ‘Awufuni’

Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje – ‘Awufuni Ukulandela Na?’

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Top of the World: Sotho Sounds – Junk Funk

Posted on October 25th, 2012 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Nigel Williamson

Afro-electronica, without the electronics

In a previous Songlines I reviewed Spoek Mathambo’s Father Creeper, an extraordinary album that thrillingly reinvented South African township music as an electro and dubstep-influenced fusion of breathtaking originality. In a paradoxical way, Junk Funk works as a companion volume – or at least its inverted, mirror image. Both albums are driven by a rare combination of invention, ingenuity, audacity, and innate funkiness. But whereas Spoek Mathambo used the cutting-edge of studio technology to shape his vision, Sotho Sounds use acoustic instruments crafted out of recycled materials. A collective of musical shepherds from Lesotho, they have a home-made aesthetic but their debut album is just as imaginative and resilient as Mathambo’s. Guitars fashioned from bicycle wire and tin cans, broken-down accordions, penny whistles, single-string fiddles, improvised percussion, barking dogs and naturally layered vocals create a sound that is both innovative and traditional, an extraordinary mix of field recording, bubblegum pop and the avant garde. The latter element may have been unintentional; but it is undeniable, as is often the case with outsiders who have worked out their own way of doing things unconcerned by custom and convention.

The songs brim with an upbeat and frequently uplifting quality, voices drifting in and out of the mix like organic samples. It’s a joyous cacophony but with an under-developed quality that hints that they could take this sound so much further. Right now I’m thinking my dream South African band would be a collaboration between Spoek Mathambo and Sotho Sounds aboard the Africa Express, produced by Damon Albarn. What about it?

Track to try: Ha Kele Monateng

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More artists join the Africa Express train

Posted on August 15th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

The collective of African and Western musicians already boasted an incredible line-up when they announced their plans to take a week-long musical adventure across mainland Britain, but it has just been announced that the line-up is in fact even bigger. 

It was revealed that Tony Allen, Carl Barât, Toumani Diabaté, Nicolas Jaar, Krar Collective (pictured), Kyla La Grange, M1 (Dead Prez), M.anifest, Spoek Mathambo, John McClure (Reverend and the Makers), Nneka, The Temper Trap, Marques Toliver, The Very Best (Soundsystem) and Rizzle Kicks will be joining the ranks. 

The already confirmed line up included Amadou & Mariam, Damon Albarn, Rokia Traoré, Kano, Baloji, Charli XCX, Fatoumata Diarawa, Noisettes, Jupiter & Okwess International and Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club). 

The train leaves London on September 2 as part of the London 2012 Festival and will travel through England, Scotland and Wales. Confirmed shows include:

Monday September 3: MIDDLESBOROUGH – Town Hall
Tuesday September 4: GLASGOW – The Arches
Wednesday September 5: MANCHESTER – The Ritz
Thursday September  6: CARDIFF – Solus (Cardiff University)
Friday September  7: BRISTOL – The Big Top @ Creative Common
Saturday September 8: Finale concert in Granary Square, Kings Cross, LONDON


Tickets start a £15 and are on sale now.

If you are interested in hosting a gig with some of the fantastic musicians on the train tour in an interesting location during one of their stops, please contact


Photo of Krar Collective by Marcus Waterloo

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