Audio

Batuk, The Pan-African Creative Collective You Need To Know, Make Their Spectacular Debut

Spoek Mathambo, Aero Manyelo and Manteiga's Batuk collective release their debut EP and Mozambique-shot video for "Daniel."

Spoek Mathambo, Nandi Ndlovu, Aero Manyelo and Manteiga.


Batuk is the pan-African creative collective you need to know.

South African producers Spoek Mathambo and Aero Manyelo, alongside artist and vocalist Manteiga, see house music as a vehicle to connect the African diaspora through rhythm culture and language.

For their first project, the group looks to Mozambique as both their spiritual and recording home. Daniel's centerpiece is a thumping four-minute, South African-house-meets-afrohouse jam featuring frequent Batuk collaborator Nandi Ndlovu.

The full EP, consisting of two original tracks plus "Daniel" remixes by German producer Daniel Haaksman, Angolan afrohouse duo Homeboyz Music and Mozambican producer/DJ Freddy Da Stupid, officially arrived yesterday along with the group's powerful debut music video. Filmed in Impaputo, Mozambique, the Kent Andreasen-shot visuals are a spectacular introduction to the style, dance and rituals of Batuk.

According to Spoek, the dancers are from two styles of "spirit dancing" from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe: Nyau and Mapiko. “We were really taken by the movements and beautifully crafted costumes and masks and wanted to explore that in our video,” Spoek tells us.

Batuk are currently completing work on their debut album. Set for release later this year, the project will see the group collaborate with Mozambicans Grupo Zore and Grupo Makarita and Ugandan artists Giovanni Kiyingi, Annet Nandujja and Nilotica.

The Daniel EP can be purchased on iTunes here. Check out a preview via Soundcloud below.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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