South Africa’s Spoek Mathambo Signs to Sub Pop
Press Release – june 24th 2011
We at Sub Pop are thrilled to announce that South African rapper/DJ and graphic designer/illustrator, Spoek Mathambo, has joined the label family. A new and highly original voice in African music, 25 year-old Spoek Mathambo is hitting the world hard with his take on Afro-futurism. And we were smitten by his 2010 release Mshini Wam. Intent on nurturing a sense of progressiveness while maintaining a pride in culture, Spoek’s unique take on electronic music infuses futurism with a strong sense of pride in where he comes from. This is clearly African music, but not what you might expect from that title.
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About Put Some Red On It
The entire Put Some Red On It EP was produced by Spoek Mathambo in collaboration with Copenhagen-based future-bass artist, Chllngr. They succeeded in creating works that show exciting signs of the maturity that Spoek is reaching in both his songwriting and production work.
The track “Put Some Red On It” is a wildly-performed, sleazy and bass-y take on the usually all-too-macabre story of conflict/blood diamonds. Written and sung with Spoek’s spouse, Ana Rab, the dark duet cleverly articulates the tensions that lie behind the diamond market, while slyly telling a true South African story.
The sonic landscape of “Dog to Bone” perfectly describes a lot of the mood of South Africa, equal parts doom and staggering natural beauty. The song is made up of a number of movements and themes, and features the ever-prolific and daring Zach Hill, as well as guitar work from the exciting young South African guitarist Nicolaas Van Reenen.
On both songs, Spoek reveals his roots in hip-hop, delivering clever rhymes, heartfelt and often angst-ridden, over his futuristic beats. Put Some Red On It will be available as a digital-only release in September 2011 and a full-length Spoek Mathambo album will be released on Sub Pop at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Put Some Red On It(EP)
2. Put Some Red On It
3. Put Some Red On It (Shabazz Palaces Remix)
4. Put Some Red On It (Machinedrum Remix)
5. Dog To Bone (Telepathe Remix)
6. Dog To Bone (Rashad Remix)
What People are Saying about Spoek Mathambo
…the Johannasberg native takes listeners on a wild ride through the South African underground, full of heavy tribal percussion, angry political raps, and even a creepy-but-danceable cover of Joy Division’s “Control.”—V Magazine
…putting his own uniquely sly, politicized stamp on cutting-edge electronic dance music.—Spin Magazine
Spoek Mathambo is just that, though, a playful guise for a smart kid to get the word out, an inside joke with deep truth underneath. With a subtle bit of subterfuge, he’ll make you think about things you don’t want to.—Fader
With an eerily distorted vocal and one of those wamp wamp basslines everyone’s using, “Control” maintains the original’s ability to make you want to dance while fully aware that the song itself is best accompanied by a dark depression.—The Guardian
Electro bump ‘n’ grind that blends Prince’s libido-loosening funk with unrestrained eruptions of jittery beat jism.—GQ Magazine