BATUK – “Daniel”

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Listen to Batuk’s debut release, “Daniel”

Culture conductor, Spoek Mathambo is at it again. Following international success on the back of the release of his sophomore album, Father Creeper, Mathambo has sought to use the platform his success has given him to share the sounds of Africa, which the global audience is creating an appetite for.

His second album was followed with Free Love by Fantasma, a music collective he created which consisted of DJ Spoko, Andre Geldenhuys, Michael Buchanan and Maskandi luminary, Bhekinsenzo Cele. Free Love received a favourable 5-star rating from Jon Dennis who reviewed the album for The Guardian.

“While each track is boldly experimental, Free Love never feels like an academic exercise – it’s playful, infectious Afro-pop, in love with music in all its forms,” wrote Dennis.

Although I appreciated the album, I did not feel it was polished, but you get the sense that it was not Mathambo’s intention to create a polished album.  His focus appears to be on innovatively fusing his influences and breaking down musical barriers as opposed to creating easily digestible formulaic music.

Connecting his own background and influences with Aero Manyelo’s afro-tech productions, Nandi Ndlovu’s vocals and Carla Fonseca’s experience in performance; Batuk sees Mathambo synthesizing divergent threads again.

Batuk’s debut release, “Daniel” announces confidently the thread which links the collective: rhythm. Aero Manyelo’s influence is recognisable in the song’s industrial township tech rhythms. The chuggin tribal drum patterns have a hypnotic rhythm which is further reinforced when Fonseca and Ndlovu share vocal duties to furnish the track with emotion. The track, which exudes more confidence than Spoek’s previous collective, is an effective preview for Batuk’s debut album, which is scheduled for release soon.

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