Stream 'Eye Of The Sun,' The Debut EP From Spoek Mathambo & DJ Spoko's SA Supergroup + Watch Their Hypnotic Desert Trip Video For 'Fafi'

Stream 'Eye of the Sun,' the debut EP from Spoek Mathambo and DJ Spoko's South African "supergroup" Fantasma, plus watch the "Fafi" video.

Image by Travys Owen

Words by Alyssa Klein and Baba Ali

For months now we've anticipated the much welcomed debut EP from five-man South African "supergroup" Fantasma. The band, which unites site favorites Spoek Mathambo and DJ Spoko with guitarist André Geldenhuys (from Cape Town electric blues duo Machineri), drummer Michael Buchanan and Durban's maskandi multi-instrumentalist Bhekisenzo Cele, have been teasing us in recent weeks with a string of new tracks, including the ethereal military-snared "Sefty Belt" with heavenly-voiced Philly native Josiahwise Is The Serpentwithfeet and their frenetic title song "Eye of the Sun" plus its spacey, downtempo remix from British producer My Panda Shall Fly. In the lead-up to the full release this Monday, November 10th, Eye of the Sun has been streaming all week via Dazed. Spoek took to facebook to explain his excitement:

"Glad to finally share what I've been working on this year. It's been such an amazing journey with Fantasma. This 5-track EP is the introduction. We are following up in Feb with our album FREELOVE.

Been trying to get this sound for years now. I tried to get the beats with first album Mshini Wam, but couldn't really get the right feel and slacked on lyrics. I tried to get the depth on my second album, but got derailed somewhere along the line."

The group also shared their debut music video this week for Eye of the Sun closer, "Fafi." Shot in black and white, the video pretty much sums up the psychedelic desert feast we've seen from Fantasma courtesy of Kent Andreasen's hypnotic lens. Speaking on the track, Spoek said:

"Fafi or M'china as it's also known is a kind of gambling/numbers racket that's common in South Africa. A lot of the numbers system is a bit mystical in the sense that people's dreams end up representing different numbers and possibly big wins. I always imagine us in a vast desert with this one, I think it's one of our most interesting pieces. What originally started out as a grime beat I was working on took on a whole other turn as our various influences came together. From maskandi to northern African desert rock, Congolese guitar runs, synth jams, to four to the floor stompers."

Watch the "Fafi" video and stream the full EP below, which includes the group's summery collab with SA avant-gardist Moonchild on "ShangriLa." Eye of the Sun is out Monday on Soundway Records.


Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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