In 2010 Spoek Mathambo (real name: Nthato Mokgata), who
hails from Soweto, surprised the music world with his debut CD, ‘Mshini Wam’,
which was a strange beast, combining filthy techno, Soweto raps and a
pummelling dance floor cover of Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’. His
follow-up, Father Creeper, is both more mainstream and significantly odder.
Mainstream because he’s added rock guitars and big choruses; odder because
these rub shoulders with everything from highlife guitar lines to skittering
beats. In a nut shell, 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 traumatised society. The
more you listen to Mathambo’s world, the more it makes sense.