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Track of the Day: DJ Spoko – After Party

‘After Party’ is the latest of two singles from the Bacardi House behemoth, DJ Spoko (Marvin Ramalepe). The Pretoria-based…

‘After Party’ is the latest of two singles from the Bacardi House behemoth, DJ Spoko (Marvin Ramalepe). The Pretoria-based producer has spent the last two decades brewing his own intoxicating blend of Bacardi House, dispersing cassette tapes around the crowds of this hometown Atteridgeville, and the releases from his upcoming War God LP are already beginning to inebriate a wider audience. 

‘After Party’ explodes with a typically snare-driven aesthetic that persists throughout, confident and uncompromising. It’s also no coincidence that this percussion resembles the bump-smack formula brought to household fame by DJ Mujava’s ‘Township Funk’ – Ramalepe was Mujava’s mentor at the time and allegedly the uncredited mastermind behind the hit. The song’s beat supports a hyperactive techno melody that jives and gyrates all over the place, egging on listeners to get up and do the same. “My synthesized strings—you can’t miss them in my music—and my sub snare”, Ramalepe responded when asked about a signature sound in an interview last year. 

These signatures are prominent in ‘After Party’ but it still hints at a fresher outlook: could it be an influence from the string of collaborators Ramalepe’s involved with at the moment, including a side-project with a fellow South African vanguard, Spoek Mathambo? War God is out tomorrow via New York’s Lit City Trax, and is sure to be a seminal offering from one of South Africa’s veteran producers. 

 

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