Audio

Batuk Keep Kwaito Alive With ‘Move!’ EP

You need to check out South African duo Batuk's latest EP.

Last week when the nominees for the South African Music Awards were announced, the kwaito category faced a lot of criticism. Many fans felt some of the artists nominated—Busiswa, Trendsetters and others—weren't really kwaito. To each their own. Not many genres still exist as they were when they started anyway.

Kwaito as a pure genre is pretty much dead. But the genre still lives vicariously through other genres. Hip-hop, a few years ago, gave birth to new age kwaito a few years ago with artists like OkMalumKoolKat, Spoek Mathambo, Cassper Nyovest, K.O., HHP and a few more adulterating their hip-hop with kwaito sensibilities.


Batuk, which consists of rapper and producer Spoek Mathambo and vocalist Manteiga, have been taking a lot of influences from kwaito in their music.

Their latest 7-track EP, Move!, carries on that streak. Manteiga's vocals remind me of the female voices that used to make a lot of hits under the label 999. Manteiga is her own character of course, and owns most of the songs on Move!, including the EP's title track.

Most of the songs on Move! are a cross between kwaito and electronica. Songs like "Dala What You Must" and "Niks Mapha" marry electronic music and kwaito perfectly.

The song "Maak Oop Die Boot," is the most kwaito. From the sampling of the adlib from Thebe's classic song "Boola Boot" to Spoek and Manteiga's quintessential kwaito bravado and even the slang and references, this one is straight from the '90s. It's reminiscent of an Arthur Mafokate production.

A house remix of "Move!" closes off the EP. It boasts those loungey pads made popular by the group Brother of Peace in their Project series.

Read: Hip-Hop and Kwaito's Long Love-Hate Relationship

Move!, with all these borrowed influences, still manages to not sound like a rip of old school kwaito. It has its own personality and Spoek and Manteiga should be commended for owning and keeping alive one of the most definitive genres of music in South Africa.

Their upcoming full-length album Kasi Royalty should be a gem, and you'll be the first to know when it drops.

Listen to Move! below and download it here.


Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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