Reviewer: Batandwa Alperstein

Spoek Mathambo brings a fresh new flavour with his debut album, Mshini Wam. The beats and lyrics share the same characteristics: simple, cryptic and infectious. Tribal drums meet grinding synths to create an atmosphere of grungy downtown Jozi streets. There is a powerful irony in the special blend of sophisticated cheesiness that Spoek has invented as The King of Township Tech. Mshini Wam has elements of social commentary; but nothing is conclusive, rather the listener is left pondering. In a way, the Richard The Third-produced ‘War on Words’ encapsulates the essence of the album – a questioning of the things that constrict us. However, on tracks like ‘Don’t Mean To Be Rude’ (featuring Zaki Ibrahim) the message is explicit: ‘I got something all you haters can kiss.’ The local and global mixture of sounds leaves the taste of chakalaka and couscous in the listener’s mouth and the irresistible desire to get down and jive.

SPOEK MATHAMBO_Mshini Wam Album Cover_HD

For more current music reviews check out the latest issue of one small seed: South Africa’s pop culture quarterly. Order your copy here.