Spoek Mathambo

South by Southwest Aftershots

Spoek Mathambo

Red 7, March 16

South African sonic scavenger Spoek Mathambo is a master of genres. Listen closely and you'll hear everything from hip-hop and Afrobeat to dub and rock. All this and more was evident at Friday's Sub Pop showcase, but many of the commingled nuances that make Mathambo's music intriguing got buried in the mix. His fourpiece backing band provided plenty of energy, but the drums overpowered everything, which left the interplay between saxophone and keyboards largely inaudible. This made his ballyhooed "township tech" warmed-over funk-rock at times. A soul testimonial noticeably shrunk the already modest audience, but even so, the show's high points provided ample evidence that Mathambo's onto something. His brilliant, skittering reinvention of Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" took the song to places Ian Curtis never could've imagined and birthed a sea of bobbing heads. Closing number "Let Them Talk" from Mathambo's new Sub Pop album, Father Creeper, came off like a left-field rock epic.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Review: Free Hamze & Peace, <i>FREETAPE2: Peace by Piece</i>
Review: Free Hamze & Peace, FREETAPE2: Peace by Piece
FREETAPE2: Peace by Piece (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, Aug. 4, 2023

Texas Platters
Ben Buck
Kilroy (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Spoek Mathambo

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle