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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


DJ Sdunkero - Edladleni Vol.3 (The Re-Birth)
I got this CD for about 30 or 40 Rand, and it just had so many songs on it. When I started DJing, that album was the gift that just kept on giving, because I could literally play so many songs in one set. It's an awesome album. There are two songs of his that people know: 'Choosing Love' and 'Bhutiza'. I love it. "Bhutiza" is like "bhuti."

And the Afrikaans version is, "Boetie" meaning brother

Yes, he's quite an obscure guy. When you talk to a lot of South African people about Sdunkero, most people don't know him. I think I heard 'Bhutiza' for the first time in someone's car on SABC1 [TV station] late at night. There was a time when SABC was more open to entries than Channel O or whatever, so you could find really obscure but great producers having the opportunity to show their stuff. Sdunkero's from Nelspruit, and South African house is for the most part clumped around Durban and the East Rand of Johannesburg. Supposedly it turns out that he wasn't producing all the tracks, and that's the reason why his career has waned a little bit. He was working with a ghost producer.

Do you agree that the South African scene is highly competitive? It seems that there are so many producers.

It's very competitive. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry makes beats. It's from kids as young as 13, and their age in no way determines the quality of the song. The best songs can be from the 15-year-old.