Published Jul 02, 2020Artists from Johannesburg to London and from Lagos to L.A. come together on the self-titled debut from Keleketla! The name says it all. A word for "response," it highlights the project's essence: a musical conversation that transcends the distance between artists across the globe.
It all began in Johannesburg with the Keleketla Library, a media arts project run by Rangoatoo Hlasane and Malose Malahlela. The two were joined by UK duo Coldcut in South Africa to record, and from these sessions the vision for the project grew.
"Future Toyi Toyi" – named for a protest dance step that found its origins during the anti-apartheid movement – kicks off the album with a revolutionary chant against a gqom beat. "Freedom Groove," a prophetic anthem that emerged from a spontaneous jam session between Tony Allen and Matt Black, redefines freedom in a fusion of spoken word and ecstatic jazz. In "Crystallise," the verses of Yugen Blakrok collide with the alien-like sax melodies of Tamar Osborn.
With contributions from over 20 artists, including such musical giants as Tony Allen and Thabang Tabana, Keleketla! is a collaboration of rare magnitude. It is at once a celebration and a call to action. (Ahead of Our Time)