Friday, September 24, 2010

Artist to watch....Moleke Mbembe

This is an ol' interview I did with Moleke Mbembe on published 1/27/2009 an other site, I thought I would rehash it since one of the interviewee's have blown up, Spoek Matambo. Its great to see artist finally get their due.

Hailing from around the other side of the world in South Africa this duo is out of this world. (damn that was a chessy line how about this)...This Duo is prehistoric!

Listing their influences you can kind of get a grasp of what they're about,


A mixture of afro-continental rhythms along with artist from the left field, Club music and random goodness to add spice.

They hit me up on myspace and I checked then out, and found they were fickin sweeeeeeet! I knew what I had to do - I had message them an interview and get it to you!!!!!!!

Featuring SPOEK MATHAMBO, who is also one half of Sweat.X, singing, rapping, designing and among other tidbits and RICHARD THE THIRD who does production and Dj-ing chores. Spoek describes this project as being different from his Sweat.X by noting, "It's my obsession with dinosaurs and the congo."" I guess I wanna say something in the conversation that Sun Ra, Fela Kuti and Suicide had ". Adding in Richard The Third's view is "is a thousand influences coming together, but it's not schizophrenic. It's like the sonic equivalent of the meds you take to keep your mind together."

It could be hard to imagine such a vast spectrum of music being funneled into two people and out into the world but they try. Trying to condense their panoramic fields of their influences I asked them simply: How would you describe your music?

Richard The Third answer was,

"Stylistically most of the stuff we've done now is afro-mutant-dub-punk-step-disco-rap, and now we're even throwing in some Sgubu sa Pitori (Pretoria House) because we're so close to the sound at home. On another level the music is a behemoth under the jungle waters of dance-music's fragmented subcultures, rising to the surface like an unstoppable, immovable force. Like the dinosaur that stops the flow of rivers."

Again with the Dinosaurs. Hmmmm. Spoek replied to the question,

"On one hand i despise nostalgia and nationalism as a citizen of the world...on the other hand as an African I really love the stuff that I see around me...and at the same time lust for a *coming time*." And this time would be called, if he had a chance, "AFROFUTURISM".

Continuing on I posed this to the dynamic duo, what is your idea's behind your motif on your page, and all the other images on your page?- they're myspace page*


"It's just me wanting absolute control over who I am, and being tired of being told who to be. The coffin is to kill all the identity nazis. The pictures about about me as an Afrikan boy moving all around the world physically and culturally and almost forming another race and culture all on my own...but mothered by war, pantsulas, AWB, ANC, time, fashion... I think it's really funny how icons can articulate so many dense and varied thoughts"

to that Richard The Third added,

"Simple ideas and analogies really. Playing with traditional African patterns with modern technologic icons implies some sort of African source or core channeled through the modern world. The image of Brando from Apocalypse now is obscure: The movie was based on Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' set in the rivers of the Congo, which is the origin of the mythical Moleke Mbembe."

The iconography of the band is just as complex as they're place in the world. Coming from different ethnic groups, in a place such as South Africa where apartheid was still in place till 1992, it's a little wondrous that they come together and make the music that they do. I asked them to discuss their feeling as an outsider with-in their communities or when ever they are around other groups.

Richard Tha Third,

"I obviously don't connect with the majority of the SA population, because I'm a privileged white boy with a solid education who only really speaks English. But I also don't connect with many of the white guys and girls of my age cause they were brought up completely disconnected from the rest of the country. I do think I've found a comfortable space in the cracks of the SA social system. A space where the art-wanker-underground-hip-trendoid-creatives hang out (God bless their souls). It's a small pond of fish, but the waters warm."


"I feel completely out of place most of the time (except when I'm in my grandmothers greesy hands)...but that's the fun adventure for me! I mean, in many ways I represent as small minority of South Africans as Richard does...and have very very very few peers that I feel I can completely relate with...On the other hand I sometimes totally fake it...and just camoflague"

"Grover from Sesame Street. He was an ugly monster, but he was lovable. "
"HMMM...I actually don't remember really liking any of them...Kermit maybe?? He seemed like quite a boss. "

Indeed. Well to Kermit and Grover I wish you luck in your AFROFUTURISTIST musical world domination quest. And to you lovely readers here's some of there music so check it out!!!!

No comments: