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Spoek Mathambo's Brilliant Pegasus Warning Rework Resurfaces with Gorgeous Dance Video

Spoek Mathambo, DJ Spoko and DJ Mujava’s "The Mountain" is the first release off Spoek's new project, The Mzansi Beat Code.

“The Mountain,” Spoek Mathambo, DJ Spoko and DJ Mujava’s brilliant rework of a song by the Los Angeles-based cosmic soul-man Pegasus Warning, is simply magical. I first wrote about it back in April 2014 when Spoek shared it as a one-off drop (prior to that he teased it in a March 2013 Boiler Room set). To my dismay the song was pulled from Spoek’s ever-evolving treasure chest of a Souncloud page. The last time I’d heard it was actually on the silver screen during a NY African Film Festival screening of the 2014 South African noir cop thriller Cold Harbour, which Spoek did the score for.


Thankfully, the magnificent lost song reemerged this week. This time for good. It features on Spoek’s just-released Badimo EP, and it’s the first release to come to light from his forthcoming solo project, The Mzansi Beat Code. A gorgeous black and white video has also surfaced. The visuals, shot in Khayelitsha with Spoek and his recent collaborator Chris Kets at the helm, express how the South African rapper/producer interpreted Pegasus Warning's lyrics.

In an email to Okayafrica, Spoek shed some light on the mystery that is “The Mountain”:

“Firstly I'd like to say that it's been years since we made this version of the The Mountain...and I've always been determined to make a beautiful poetic, black and white video, expressing the resilience, tenacity and vibrancy of township youth culture.

It all started when I toured with Pegasus Warning in USA in 2011/12...I was told about this incredible NYC based drummer, and I had no idea of his musical roots or how badass he is as a vocalist and producer. On the tour he was playing drums, me on sampler and a friend from Sweden on guitar. It was about 12 shows across the country and every time we played the Spoek Mathambo set, Pegasus Warning would sing and perform his wonderful songs as an opening set. He would always set the stage alight. The Mountain was always such a powerful and poignant moment in his show. At the end of the tour I asked him if I could remix the song when I was back in South Africa.

I started working on the remix for a nightclub scene for a film I was scoring on Cold Harbour, laying down rhythm elements and the synth work (hugely influenced by Spoko and Mujava who I hadn't yet met)...at the same time, I was was working on my documentary Future Sound of Mzansi...On the great day that I was to meet Mujava and Spoko in Atteridgeville for the first time, we got along and decided to work on a track together...I pulled out the separates of the remix I was working on and we made the song...the actual time spent making the track is documented in Future Sound of Mzansi as a scene with The Mountain playing.”

The Badimo EP is the first in a trilogy of Spoek’s upcoming releases titled The Mzansi Beat Code. Still to come are the Mzansi Beat Code LP in October 2016––Spoek’s first solo LP since 2012’s Father Creeper––and the Toro EP in early 2017. But knowing the Fantasma/Batuk orchestrator there should be plenty of surprises in between.

The Badimo EP is out now.

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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Listen to Sibusile Xaba‘s New Jazz Single 'Umdali'

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