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Baker's Dozen

Beat Codes: Spoek Mathambo's Favourite Albums
Lior Phillips , August 30th, 2017 12:23

Spoek Mathambo gives Lior Phillips a tour of his record collection, crossing continents between the music of his South African homeland, American rap, and British new wave


Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
My dad moved to England, and one time I was in Johannesburg airport waiting for a flight to visit him, and there was a terrible CD store there. I used to just go to CD stores to listen to stuff, even if I had no money. I saw this bright yellow cover unlike anything I'd ever seen. I picked it up, had no idea what it was, hadn't heard him before, hadn't heard any grime before, and I really enjoyed it from track one. I went to England, and when I was there I bought a copy.

I think he wrote a lot of it when he was 16, and he produced the majority of the album, so that production aesthetic was huge to me. The sounds are quite hard and cold, and it's minimalist. There isn't very much sampling. There were all these stories that he made all the music on a Playstation, that there's this Playstation software that he produced the songs on. I still don't know how much of that is true. I thought his rap was very fresh. I've been listening to rap since I was maybe four-years-old, and there's always people that make your ears perk up, like, "Woah, what is this? This is unlike the seven million other people that I've heard." And that was one of those moments. You know there are those moments where you can comfortably stand there and nod your head and just think, "Yeah, I like this"? I probably just had my mouth open in wonder and amazement the whole time. I had already finished high school, so to hear something new within a genre that I had been listening to since I was a little toddler was really great.