Film

South African Cop Thriller 'Cold Harbour' Features Original Music From Spoek Mathambo

South African noir-action/thriller film 'Cold Harbor' is set to feature original compositions by Spoek Mathambo, Chris Letcher, and CHLLNGR.


The trailer for Carey Mckenzie's South African noir action/thriller Cold Harbour has surfaced online, and with it comes the announcement that SA's own Spoek Mathambo helmed the film's original soundtrack alongside composer Chris Letcher with contributions from CHLLNGR, Theo Tuge and more. Actor Tony Kgoroge, fresh off his turn as ANC General Walter Sisulu in Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom (which we had reservations about), stars in the lead role as township cop Sizwe Miya, who succumbs to corruption within the police force while investigating a turf war between abalone smuggling rings. Fana Mokoena, Yu Nan, Deon Lotz, Thomas Gumede and Zolani Mahola round up the cast in the project produced by Tendeka Matatu's Ten10 Films. The film, an official selection at the 35th Durban International Film Festival, is due to hit South African theaters on July 25th. Watch its shadowy trailer and read the full synopsis below.

"The mutilated body of a Chinese man washes up on a Cape Town beach. For township cop Sizwe Miya , this is an opportunity to prove himself and earn the promotion he desperately needs. His boss and mentor, Venkse (Lotz), gives Sizwe the case but assigns a rookie cop, Legama (Gumede), to keep an eye on him.

Sizwe discovers that the homicide is linked to the Triad perlemoen smuggling in Cape Town. A Chinese shipping executive, Soong Mei (Nan), tries to seduce him into giving her information about the case.

Sizwe seeks advice from his former comrade Specialist (Mokoena), now a local crime boss. A tip from Specialist leads to a major abalone bust, but within hours the seized perlemoen is stolen.

Sizwe is promoted to detective on the back of the bust, but it's a bitter triumph; he's being played and he knows it. In a world where self-interest and corruption have overtaken loyalty and honour, Sizwe is left with no-one to trust. Integrity demands that he take the law into his own hands."

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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