Album Of The Week: Fantasma – Free Love

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Fantasma, the latest project of South African innovator and creative pioneer Spoek Mathambo, is a five-man collective which weaves together electronica, hip-hop, traditional Zulu maskandi music, shangaan electro, South African house, psych-rock and punk to form a unique, original and fresh hybrid. The godfather of ‘Bacardi House’, producer DJ Spoko joins with former Machineri guitarist André Geld- enhuys, drummer Michael Buchanan and maskandi multi-instrumentist Bhekisenzo Cele to complete the line up. Fused by Spoek Mathambo’s futurist vision, Fantasma pulls inspiration from all corners of South Africa: the sounds and spirits of townships and cities as well as the rural countryside. On last years ‘Eye of the Sun’ EP the band gave us a glimpse of their diverse style and sound. On Free Love, Fantasma take their globalised sound to new heights on songs like “Sophiatown,” “Damn,” “Higher Power” and “Peaking”. Steeped in sound clash experimentalism, the production is remarkably on-point and nothing sounds out-of-place. The spectacular lead single, “Sefty Belt”, is an infectious afrocentric dance banger featuring the amazing vocals of guest artist Josiah Wise. Listeners should make sure to hear other highlights “Breaker, Cat & Mouse” and the penultimate song “Umoya,” a beautiful acoustic number backed by electronic ambient soundscapes. The album is diverse not only in its membership but also in its forward-looking music.

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Free Love Tracklist:

1. Basbizile
2. Shangrila
3. Higher
4. Sefty Belt
5. Sophiatown
6. Peaking
7. My Wave
8. Breaker
9. Cat & Mouse
10. Fire & Smoke
11. Damn
12. Umoya

8/10

Soundway Records released ‘Free Love’ on March 9th 2015 (buy).

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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