If like us, you have been eagerly following all of the astounding electronic music coming out of South Africa in recent years, then we have some good news for you. Spoek Mathambo, the multitalented musician and producer from Johannesburg, has teamed up with Lebogang Rasethaba of Egg Films to make a documentary that explores the many different musical scenes that have sprung up around the diverse nation.
If you’ve been listening to some of the music, the film is a fascinating chance to get a glimpse of the scenes that birthed it. And “scenes” are very definitely plural–one of the main things you learn is how firmly each genre is rooted in its own home turf, a localism that can get lost when you experience the music through a collection of Soundcloud accounts. If you’re new to this stuff, well then take this as your primer and dive right in. While the film’s creators make no claims to have put together an exhaustive or fully comprehensive portrait of what’s going on musically in South Africa, it’s certainly got plenty of scope, with tastes of kwaito house, gqom, shangaan electro, glitch hop, township tech, and more. In other words, it may not be the last word on South African electronic music, but it’s a hell of a place to start. Check Part One out now on Thump.