An entirely improvised album recorded live, in one take, featuring a once-off ensemble of Johannesburg-based avantgarde musicians.
A band with no permanent personnel, with each line-up assembled for the express purpose of recording improvised or workshopped material. For this, the initial salvo, SPAZA was put together from a group of musicians with individual and collective links to Johannesburg's jazz, afro funk and experimental electro scenes.
As a body of work created on the spot, there is a heightened and sustained sense of intuition running through this recording whose sonic palette is so wide it captures - through soundscaping, invocation, lament, impressionistic vocal weaving - not only the transient and hybridised nature of life in Johannesburg, but also the heaviness of the air at the time of its recording.
Between percussionist Gontse Makhene and bass player Ariel Zamonsky on the bottom end of the scale (both of whom are part of Shabaka Hutchings' band, Shabaka & The Ancestors), and sound sculptor Joao Orecchia and string wizard Waldo Alexander on the nebulous end of it, vocalists Nosisi Ngakane and Siya Makuzeni (who also plays trombone) marshal a vocal experiment that is as tense as it is playful. The results, shaped in the Pan African milieu that is Johannesburg, is a freewheeling representation of continental astral travel.
Five Rand Airtime Nama-Eveready: 4000 Degrees
Tigerbalm Nobuhlebakho (Interlude)
Ice Squinchies: Waiting For You
Magwinya, Mangola NeWhite Liver
Sunlight, Glycerine, 2 Loose Draws
Stametta Spuit: Invocations
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