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) 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.


A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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