spoek-mathambo-father-creeper

[review] SPOEK MATHAMBO – FATHER CREEPER

from the record label’s desk:
Johannesburg’s Spoek Mathambo (real name: Nthato Mokgata) first hotwired our world with a series of collaborative projects—Sweat X, Playdoe—that placed his smart, dirty vocals on top of electro-rap bangers that activated dancefloors across the globe. Things went darker and deeper with his 2010 debut album, Mshini Wam (translation: “bring me my machine”), a record which took Spoek’s love affair with South African culture and his coined “township tech” as a starting point. As always, he pulled those influences in a direction all his own (think: a pitched-down wobble-house cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control”). Mathambo topped things off with a grip of visually thrilling videos depicting a fresh-to-death urban gothic vibe, and months of touring across US, Europe, and South America.

Father Creeper took shape during this touring. Mathambo got started doing hands-on audio production during long days on the road with Copenhagen-based musician CHLLNGR. They began with haunting lyrics about conflict diamonds, penned by Mathambo’s wife Ana Rab (aka Gnucci Bananaa), fleshing out the verses into an epic, synth-driven post-dubstep heater. “Put Some Red on It” would become Father Creeper’s first single…

GENERATION BASS’ opinion:
Well, I gotta say, I dig Spoek and we’ve been in touch year’s ago, I like the way he forges Afro Futurist vibes with his modern day rap over drummachines style. his tracks have a great energy and tribal power. He blends some dubstep and tech/house into the mix and it works man. It really does. But this album is succesfull in some parts, where it also has lesser moments in other parts.

In his older works, production is always top notch, on FATHER CREEPER, a lot of the tracks sound a bit unfinished almost. Not a lot of futurist sounding jams, but a LOT of genre and style skipping tracks. A lot of slow jams on this, which in itself is not such a problem, but it does all sound very thought out. Less of the spontaneous action and power we heard in the past. The album closer, two parts of ‘Grave’ are all bleak and dark and bring a different energy to the spectrum, but I think that in the process of doing these jams, Spoek forgot to add a song element to them. ‘Skokokoro (Walking Away)’ has a catchy hook, and sounds more like the older stuff, singjaying and a beat that’s on point. The sung vocals are almost off key, dragging in rhythm and the rapped parts are the same in their intensity.

There’s a lot of pictures of ‘musicians’ that play along on this album in the booklet, forget those guys man. This album has become top-heavy with experiment, low on good songs and sounds like Spoek is trying to prove a point. I’m a real musician, I’m not just fucking around, breathes throughout this album and its not working for him. Spoek, get back to the computer and drummachines. Get back to the minimal and gritty beats and danger of your previous self, cause honestly, we miss that Spoek! we miss the raw energy and bleak Afro Futurist visions of for instance that awesome Joy Division cover you did or the Sweat X tunes, which burst with energy!

this old jam:

is better than the entire new album combined… I really had my hopes up when I heard the dangerously insane version of joy division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’, but allas, this album is not (YET) that missing link we need and are waiting for…

SPOEK MATHAMBO ‘FATHER CREEPER’ is out now on SUB POP RECORDS – SUPPORT THE SA SCENE YO – more on it + buy link are HERE

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