On our lists this week: Miriam Makeba, Tank and the Bangas, and Steve Spacek

Tank and the Bangas. Photo: NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Tank and the Bangas. Photo: NPR Tiny Desk Concert

The Playlist

You So Dumb by Tank and the Bangas

Mos, it’s silly season? How do I stay in check? The simple answer is playing this song on a loop. The band plays out the all-too-familiar compromising scenarios that we put ourselves in for one-night pleasures or weekend specials. I have never had a song throw so much shade at me so gently.

Fire and Bamako by Bus by The Kuti Mangoes

Rides with my parents either involve car karaoke or full-on jam sessions. Nothing gets me going like these Afrobeats jams. (ZH)

One More Dance by Miriam Makeba and Charles Colman

In this song, Charles Colman, who can’t contain his laughter throughout this recording, implores a woman, played by Miriam Makeba, to attend to her ill husband, but all she wants is to have one more dance with a man named Frantz … until it’s time for the will to be read. It’s a cheeky Austrian song that Makeba took and made her own. (MB)

Natural Sci-Fi by Steve Spacek

It’s not that Steve Spacek has been idle. As one half of Africa Hitech (with Mark Pritchard), he has been stretching the very notion of what music is and how it is recorded. Africa Hitech dish out a mixture of beat styles, samples and field recordings that apparently have nothing in common until that magical moment when they start to make sense to the listener. With Natural Sci-Fi, it’s a return to Spacek, less Spaceshift and more Vintage Hi-Tech. (KS)

The Reading List

La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono

Here is Okomo. She’s a 16-year-old orphan living in an Equatorial Guinea village. Her family is overjoyed when she starts menstruating because they see it as an opportunity for her to get a man who will pay their bills. Okomo, on the other hand, is more interested in finding her father and spending time with her outcast gay uncle. After being shunned for this, she begins to explore the world beyond heterosexual norms. I love how Obono contrasts the violent language of conservative elders against the innocence of growing curiosities. I have one problem with this book: with only 112 pages, it ends just when it begins. (ZH)

The Lists were compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo and Zaza Hlalethwa

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