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New Mix From DJ Spoko

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Pretoria’s DJ Spoko (of township funk and Fantasma renown) recently dropped the perfect mix to ease the transition between your last few hours of Friday and the blissfully decadent weekend to come. Or at least, the decadent bliss you will have if you follow the serious vibes thrown around on these tracks.

According to the brief sentence that Spoko posted to his Soundcloud along with the music, the mix is a throwback to the “taxi” music that he used to produce for township drivers in the very beginning of his career. Given that Spoko previously told us that his earliest fans were almost exclusively gangsters of one kind or another, this was probably a pretty serious ride.

Whether or not the tracks are new, the production definitely feels like an expansion of the dark palette on which Spoko usually relies. Instead of the intricately layered keyboards that defined his EP on True Panther Sounds or the brutal pulse of his work for Lit City Trax, most of this mix sounds a lot more like the ’80s house that inspired the beginnings of South African electronic. It’s a lighter, funkier bounce than we are used to hearing from Spoko.

While many of the tracks hew closer to the kind of minimal, deep-voiced Afro-house we’ve heard out of South Africa and Angola for years, the warped keyboard melodies circling around the groove never let you forget who you’re listening to. The mix has a few real surprises as well: the opening track (#666) sounds like something by legendary NYC no-wave group Liquid Liquid, and its clicking bell patterns and echoed drumshots wouldn’t be out of place on any ZE Records compilation, while others are goosed by deliciously live keyboards right at home on a cut from Marshall Jefferson.

So check it out–and have a good weekend! Spoko says you have to.

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