Spoek Mathambo, “Control”.
I was chatting with an exchange student from South Africa yesterday who introduced me to Spoek Mathambo. A self-described “township tech” artist, the guy made his first appearance in 2008; the album “Mshini Wam” from which this song is taken came out in 2010.
The video for “Control” has a stunning visual aesthetic that complements the minimalism of the song. It’s quite spooky - fittingly, since “Spoek” translates to “ghost” from Afrikaans. As Dazed Digital writes,
In collaboration with one of South Africa’s most influential photographers Pieter Hugo, and cinematographer Michael Cleary, the new video explores township cults and teen gangs. Shot on location in a squatted train boarding house in Langa, Cape Town, the video features a cast mostly made up of local neighborhood kids who run their own dance troop, Happy Feet.
If you’re looking around for reviews, you’ll find Control - a remake of the Joy Division song “She’s Lost Control” - described as ‘darkwave township house’, and when Spoek Mathambo is mentioned, the term “afro-futurist” is never too far.
Dusted review of Mshini Wam.