Nextup feature: Future Sound of Mzansi

Future Sound of Mzansi explores the exploding electronic music scene in post-apartheid South Africa, through the eyes of rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo (Nthato Mokgata).

Produced by Mokgata and Lebogang Rasethaba of Egg Films, the documentary covers a variety of newly-created sub genres of African electronic music including barcardi house (drink rum whilst listening), kwaito house to glitch hop, township tech and khawuleza.

Future Sound of Mzansi explores the reasons behind the electronic uprising happening in South Africa, which brings meaning to its tagline of ‘welcome to the apartheid afterparty.’ 20 years after the apartheid happened, the film looks at how socio-economic and geographical factors have ignited an influx of electronic musicians.

Shot whilst Mathambo was on tour around Mzansi (slang for South Africa) back in 2012, it features a variety of musicians and pioneers such as Black CoffeeFelix Laband, DJ Mujava – responsible for internationally-renowned hit ‘Township Funk’ – and Spoek Mathambo himself.This new wave of bass-heavy, hard-hitting Mzansi sound has rightly expanded across the country, drawing international attention; South African artist Nozinja was discovered on YouTube by US producer Wills Glaspier.

The extent of this raw discovery coincides with the almost accidental rise of township tech and is echoed in the way that the music is shared and equipment is sourced. Whilst EDM style producers can spend thousands of pounds producing their next hit, a typical Mzansi setup can cost as little as £85, with the aforementioned anthem ‘Township Funk’ being produced on a very simple home computer setup.

To outsiders, townships – where much of the music originates from – are full of negative connotations; of poverty, crime and violence however the film sets out to banish this stereotype and portray an unbiased image of South Africa, as the locals know it through the music.

DJs speak of advertising by giving CDs to local taxi drivers to play as they work, with “schoolkids overloading the taxi because they love my songs.” Incidents like this show the joyous side of townships that often gets overlooked amidst all the bad publicity. Even the name of the music genre ‘barcardi house’ is said to originate from its suitability for huge parties where copious amounts of white rum are consumed and the bass-heavy tunes are perfect for dancing all night long.

The post-apartheid party continues…

To promote the screening of the film and at Islington Mill on 13th March 2015, Oh Bacchanal who is performing at the afterparty along with Spoek Mathambo has laid down an exclusive mix for Nextup Throwback, available as a free download.

Find out more details of the event here: Facebook event

To find out more details of the mix, here: SoundCloud


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