Spoek Mathambo — ‘I Found U’ ft. Kajama & Fantasma
It’s always exciting to see a Soundcloud post from Spoek Mathambo’s Teka Records, and when the track in question features Kajama and Fantasma you better believe my heart was going before my frantic finger even found the play button.
Spoek has a forthcoming album, with the emphasis now apparently on beats. Given the ever-increasing popularity of beat-driven South African genres such as gqom, this change in focus makes a lot of sense. That said, the beat centric-nature of ‘I Found U’ is really the only comparison point with gqom — typically a cold, ominous sound.
As he said to The Fader, his mission has always been ‘to enrich and expand the palette of South African music’ and this one intentionally incorporates elements of Maskandi — South Africa’s folk music. Certainly the prominent use of acoustic guitar lends the track plenty of warmth, and deviates from the sound typically associated with the body rhythm that ushers in the track. An earworm bass melody seems to tug the track along, and the Kajama sisters’ gorgeous harmonised vocal seems custom-designed for a track of this nature.
This is a prime example of what excites me so much about South African music.