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johannesburg's spoek mathambo (real name: nthato mokgata) first hotwired our world with a series of collaborative projects - sweat x, playdoe - that placed his smart, dirty vocals on top of electro-rap bangers that activated dance floors across the globe. things went darker and deeper with his 2010 debut album, 'mshini wam', a record which took spoek's love affair with south african culture and his coined 'township tech' as a starting point. as always, he pulled those influences in a direction all his own (including a pitched-down wobble-house cover of joy division's 'she's lost control'). with the arrival of his second album, 'father creeper', spoek mathambo makes the afro-futurists look old school. each song arrangement is a statement in and of itself. rock moments swerve electronic. the crisp, changing rhythms of mathambo;s live drummer go cyborg with drum machine beats. guitar lines snake and ripple across the album, ranging from summery highlife melodies to amped-up rock riffs. soulfully sung choruses shift up into double-time rap choruses as video game bleeps splash through mathambo's gutturals. lyrically, father creeper flips the concerns of mainstream rap by embracing a deep sensitivity for a traumatized society where the fucked-upedness is real, the optimism stubborn and the booty ripe. the more you listen to mathambo's world, the more it makes sense. the big picture shows us a musician hitting his stride with enough confidence and vision to craft songs as robust and challenging and attractive as life in our electrified, apocalyptic 2012.
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