Batuk is easily one of the most exciting projects to come to light this year. Comprised of South African producers Spoek Mathambo and Aero Manyelo alongside artist and vocalist Manteiga, the collective is using house music as a vehicle to connect the diaspora through rhythm culture and language. After arriving on the scene with the Mozambique-rooted Daniel EP, the group has been keeping busy prepping the release of their debut album and touring Europe.
The finished product, Musica de Terra, is a truly pan-African affair with sonic influences that span from afrohouse to soul to zouk, kuduro, deep house, techno and traditional African sounds. Recorded in South Africa, Uganda and Mozambique, the album features collaborations with South African vocalist Nandi Ndlovu, Mozambicans Grupo Zore and Grupo Makarita and Ugandan artists Giovanni Kiyingi, Annet Nandujja and Nilotica.
Today we preview an early stream and exclusive track-by-track breakdown from all three members of Batuk. Musica de Terra is out tomorrow on Teka Music.
1) FORCA FORCA
Spoek: I love how this song kicks off the album. Pure vibes and energy! There’s about 4 languages in the song, but it seems so natural.
Manteiga: The title says it all! Força! Full of energy and electric rhythms. Perfect way to introduce our album to the listener!
Aero: Energetic, groovy and bouncy, a nice way to open the album.
2) ME TOQUE
Aero: One of the personal favorite production, the arrangement and the vocals works well with this song.
Manteiga: A love and lust song. I love it because it’s passionate and brings a softness to the album.
Spoek: I love this sensual lil jam!
3) DANIEL (GRUPO ZORE VERSION)
Manteiga: A capsule of pure African voice and rhythm. This is storytelling at its purest.
Aero: The vocals from Group Zore are yoo heavy, emotional and natural. I wish i had this one on vinyl.
Spoek: We released a completely different version in May, but Grupo Zore from Inhambane in Mozambique really brought some deep emotion to the story of Daniel. Always fresh to have senior citizens on electronic tracks!!
Spoek: Listening to this track is like taking a vacation. It just whisks you away. The guitars especially drive me crazy. Super dreamy vocals. I can’t wait to share the single with the great remixes from Mash.O and Fever Trails.
Manteiga: The guitars in this track are what make it for me. So festive and full of life! Always puts me in a good mood.
Aero: Smooth vibe. You can enjoy this with a glass of red wine :-))))
5) CALL ME NAUGHTY
Manteiga: A powerful kickstart into a good mood!! Everything about this song is super fun!
Aero: Get out of your house and go have some fun. That’s what this song is about 🙂
Spoek: This song is great fun… always fun to perform… making the video was so fun as well. I think the video concept was especially fresh!
6) ANDA KA
Aero: Can’t stop bouncing my head when I listen to this jam.
Spoek: This track is so sexy… at shows people just start winding within the first 2 seconds of it playing. It’s like their hips and ass hear it first. Love to play this track!
Manteiga: One of my favorites! So sexy! A get looow and move sloooow track, mmmmm!
Manteiga: I love performing this track! Full of attitude! This track marks a victory against chauvinists, bullies and gossips! A hard-hitting ‘I don’t take bullshit’ track!
Spoek: I love the punch and attitude in this one…a bit of that punk rock spirit on a tropical groove.
Aero: I like the attitude of this song, especially the energy on Manteiga vocals.
8) REYA CONGO
Manteiga: A subgenre of tribal music which combines traditional sounds and electronic sounds. Very trippy song guided by elements of powerful percussions. Buckle up!
Spoek: I always picture Batuk on a long journey to the center of Africa when this plays. It’s a really nostalgic and royal song!
Aero: This song is about a journey to Congo, so if you traveling for long distance this is the song to cut your trip short.
Aero: When you hear this on the dance floor bass speakers, you sometimes forget that the song is about stopping the war, you just want to jump up and down.
Manteiga: A strong protest song! Powerful and very direct in its message! Too many people are dying! STOP ALL WAR!
Spoek: Hard-hitting and powerful track with a beautiful message from African youth! Stop this war. We wanna go back to school and do something for ourselves!
10) ULTIMA MOVEMENT FT LEBON
Spoek: Bigup the homie Lebon, we met him in Uganda last year…and at first we didn’t know exactly how awesome he was on the mic. We started hanging out and he spat some crazy raps in his language Lingala and the rest is history.
Aero: This song is breezy and refreshing, like the title itself.
Manteiga: Oh man…I always listen to this track with my eyes closed…I imagine myself floating above a lavender field. Very romantic and psychedelic!
Spoek: Trippy track about lavender!
12) CANTA MINHA TERRA
Aero: Favorite song of my album. I can play it anytime and day.
Manteiga: This song is so lush and deep and dense! It was an honor working with Annet Nandujja…her voice added so much depth to everything.
Spoek: With this song we decided to go out of our comfort zones and really explore different sounds. Working with Ugandan music legend Annet Nandujja really raised the stakes and pushed us to create something special.
Musica de Terra is out 27 May on Teka Music.