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Sebenza

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 27 Aug 2012
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Aug. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperdub
  • ASIN: B008PB2KFY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,077 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
4:18
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2
30
by LV
3:19
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3
30
DL
by LV
DL
by LV
3:18
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4
30
by LV
Limb
by LV
2:02
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5
30
by LV
2:02
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6
30
by LV
Hustla
by LV
3:50
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7
30
by LV
4:02
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8
30
by LV
3:33
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9
30
by LV
2:58
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10
30
by LV
2:58
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11
30
by LV
3:18
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12
30
by LV
3:34
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13
30
by LV
Work
by LV
4:03
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14
30
by LV
4:43
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Product description

Product Description

On 'Sebenza', meaning work in the Zulu language, South Africa meets South London as the LV trio of producers hook up with three of their favourite South African MCs, Okmalumkoolkat from Dirty Paraffin, Spoek Mathambo and MC / producer duo Ruffest. The first sessions from the album started two years ago, when one of LV went over to Jo-burg to DJ and hooked up with Spoek Mathambo on a tip off from a mutual friend. One thing led to another and they were introduced to Okmalumkoolkat, and on a later visit, to the duo of Sello and Max who make up Ruffest. Their talents as MCs and infectious characters are what drew LV to them, and by happy coincidence, the synthesis of their vocals and LV's music form something fresh, unique and playful. Across the album, LV's music is 'zingy'; analogue synths digitally propelled by multisided rhythms, that take off from the interzone between UK funky and kwaito house's bouncy rhythms, but detour much wider through the spidery, digital soca / kuduro of title track 'Sebenza', the afro-garage of Animal Prints , the scuttling triplets of DL' and Limb , the half speed grime of Zulu Compurar , the old school electro hip hop of International Pansula and the Prince-like synth melodies on closer 'Ultando Lwaka . The album shares a palette of sounds, but each track stretches those sources into different templates, each custom built with the MC s flow and topic in mind, slowed down and sped up where needed. The three MC s styles differ from each other dramatically. Okmalumkoolkat shifts schizophrenically through different characters; he s an Afro-futurist tech nerd on Zulu Compurar', a wired gangster on International Pansula , and on Spitting Cobra , a shapeshifting bad man. Ruffest mix shout outs to the thugs on Hustla , boast their uniqueness on Nothing Like Us , bring the party on Thatha and get love sick on Uthando Lwakho . On Limb Spoek Mathambo s rhymes dissolve into the rhythm like a holographic James Brown, while Work answers Okmalumkoolkat s Sebenza with instructional cheerleading over clicking beats. Sebenza is a joyful listen, refreshing in its disregard for musical and verbal cliché. It brings to attention a handful of the awesome talent of South Africa s young generation of MCs over the finest productions of South London.

BBC Review

Sebenza is LV’s swift follow-up to 2011’s Routes, a collaboration with spoken word artist Joshua Idehen, and marks the media-shy London-based trio’s first album release on the influential Hyperdub label.

Together since 2000 but only signed in 2007 when they were spotted by Hyperdub, Will Horrocks, Gervase Gordon and Si Williams have now teamed up with three South African MCs who feature across each of the album’s 14 tracks.

Heavily influenced by kwaito, where hip hop and house music collide, the album also references UK funky, reggae and electro. But these are just loose markers that create echoes throughout LV’s seemingly simple yet deceptively complex rhythmical productions.

The manically urgent title track, which featured on the recent Get a Grip EP, opens the album. It sees Okmalumkoolkat, a dextrous vocal shapeshifter, decrying materialistic money chasers over galloping beats and twisted 8-bit computer feedback, briefly borrowing the chorus from Depeche Mode’s Everything Counts in the process.

LV also enlist the MCing talents of Johannesburg’s Spoek Mathambo and the Ruffest duo, with their cut-up, processed vocals providing the ideal complement to the backdrop of chest-quaking kicks, thumping bass hits and sparse electronics.

Substance is favoured over production sheen throughout the album, with every element of each track having a definite function and no sonic fat or filler allowed. Each track is stripped back to its bare bones but the minimal approach is not employed to cover a lack of ideas; it merely gives the rich spread of styles on display a welcome rawness.

This pointed minimalism contrasts sharply with the information overload that inspires Okmalumkoolkat’s lyrics on tracks like International Pantsula, which drowns in electronic "soundbytes", referencing hash tags, Skype, WiFi and FML.

From the gritty Zulu/English hip hop of the title track to the house of Animal Prints to the low-fi funk of the closer and the Brainfeeder-style beats and crushed melodies of Primus Stove, LV seem comfortable to pursue their own sound rather than chase any particular genre.

While this may not provide them with huge commercial success it will ensure that the word-of-mouth buzz surrounding the trio continues to grow.

--Beacon

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on 20 September 2012
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2012
Format: Audio CD
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsThis album is outstanding
on 11 October 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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