‘Future Sounds of Mzansi’ is a documentary, which aims to explore, express, and interrogate South Africa’s cultural landscape. A chief vehicle of this exploration is electronic music, a staple of South African popular culture. The film explores the past, present and future of the scene and its multiple sub-genres, presented through the eyes of internationally acclaimed artist Spoek Mathambo.
The film features an exciting range of emerging electronic music artists from various South African cities including Aero Manyelo; Black Coffee; Christian Tiger School; Felix Laband; John Wizards; Krushed & Sorted; Machepies; Markus Wormstorm; Mix & Blend; DJ Mujava; Naked Boys; Nozinja; Okmalumkoolkat; Panyaza; Rude Boyz; Sibot; DJ Spoko; Zaki Ibrahim and many more. The film does not aim to be an exhaustive account of the history of electronic music in South Africa nor does it try provide a comprehensive and all- inclusive overview of the genre.
This is what filmmakers Nthato and Lebo have to say about the process and their approach during this journey that has spanned over almost two years. “We travelled around South Africa to explore our rich electronic music scene. For years there’s been a strong movement of producers, instrumentalists, vocalists and most importantly, party goers, giving themselves to new ideas of African electronic music.
We have seen a couple of generations unafraid to be proudly South African, proudly party rocking, proudly futuristic, international stake raisers, and hell raisers. The future looks awesome, blindingly beautiful and bursting at the seams with youth energy and talent. Still a country steeped in poverty, crime, and injustice, South Africans party like their lives depend on it. From the sounds of deep house to glitch hop, kwaitohouse, township tech, sghubu sapitori; durban qhum, daintly melodic electronica to dubstep; super fast khawuleza and shangaan electro. The groove is thick and infectious. And they give themselves to it.
We sat down with Spoek Mathambo and filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba to find out more about their new project.
TRACE Urban: How did the two of you meet?
Spoek Mathambo: We went to college together and kept in touch throughout the years even when we were living in separate countries.
TU: At what age did you realise you wanted to be artists?
SM: I’d say I’ve been an artist all my life since I was very young like 10 years or so.
LR: I’ve always known that I wanted to be a filmmaker because I love telling peoples stories through visuals.
TU: What message were you trying to convey with your latest documentary “Future Sounds of Mzansi”?
SM: Our mission was simple, to meet up with some of our heroes, colleagues,
competition, and co-conspirators…an ever-potent gang of electronic music
pioneers sculpting ‘The Future Sound of Mzansi.’”
LR: This is a film about music, and Nthato (Spoek) approached me about 6 years ago when I was living in China and he was in Sweden. It all came together because we work so well together and we share the same kind of passion for film and music in South Africa. I was just really excited to document South Africa and beautiful black South African’s.
TU: What are your thoughts on the current state of the music coming out of Africa?
SM: African music is on the rise and it’s exciting. South African artists are now able to collaborate with other African artists and globally and that’s what music should be about. The experience and connecting with fans outside of your world.
TU: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
LR: Making this film has been a great achievement for me.
‘Future Sounds of Mzansi’ will premiere at The Durban International Film Festivalin July 2014. Cape Town and Johannesburg will follow end July and beginning ofAugust.
Follow Nthato and Lebo throughout the release of the film on:
Promo Mixes for Future Sounds of Mzansi