First appeared on IGGY: July 21, 2010
Spoek Mathambo is the Afro-futurist musical alter ego of Johannesburg kid Nthato Mokgata, and he’s got a new sound. His brand of beats includes a whole lot of bass, a touch of cumbia, some electro and freaky house music, dubstep and a little something Mr. Mathambo likes to call township tech.
The synthesis of these parts leads to brain-rattling, and spine-tingling party jams. All of Mathambo’s deep, nuanced, dark electro tracks belong in a dance club in the underworld somewhere. And we really, really want to go. His debut album Mshini Wam blew minds from here to Soweto and made him the talk of the blogosphere — fueled no doubt by a string of envelope pushing music videos.
The video for “Gwababa” (or “Don’t Be Scared”), for instance, looks like Saturday Night Fever met a dystopian indie flick. The creepy call-and-response industrial rap/house track that uses simple synth, heavy tom-toms and the words “don’t be scared” whispered over and over again in a way that is definitely intended to scare you.
Spoek dropped his sophomore album, Father Creeper, in March after becoming the first South African artist ever (!!!) to be signed to monster label Sub Pop. We’re filled with pride and joy.