MABUTA – WELCOME IN THIS WORLD [AFROSYNTH RECORDS / RUSH HOUR MUSIC]
The debut album from jazz imprint, MABUTA, is as unapologetically challenging as it is effortlessly communicative. Very much the progeny of South Africa’s restless, youth-driven jazz movement, ‘Welcome To This World’ travels through narratives in which musical lines struggle for dominance, pull apart, resolve and ultimately achieve a dizzying degree of sonic harmony.
Cape Town-based bassist, composer and producer, Shane Cooper, started MABUTA in 2017 as a vehicle to bring his jazz prowess and electronic music ideas together under one umbrella. His background in both spaces is impressive.
On the jazz front, Cooper has worked as a sideman in many of SA’s most explorative groups, including the Kyle Shepherd Trio and the Reza Khota Quartet. He’s also linked up with local jazz legends such as the late saxophonist Zim Ngqawana, and performers like Lionel Loueke, Talvin Singh, Nils Berg, Soweto Kinch and more. As an electronic-music artist, Cooper produces under the alias Card On Spokes and has opened for touring acts like Little Dragon, Young Fathers and Daedelus.
MABUTA is the Japanese word for ‘eyelid’ and plays on the eyelid as the doorway between the dream world and the real world. All of the tension between these two states comes out in the record. From start to finish, the work sees jazz integrate seamlessly with electronic music to create musical representations of deep sleep, REM and the dissociation of the freshly woken mind. Every one of the eight tracks is deserves praise, though the suggestive ‘Fences’ and the dramatic ‘Tafattala’ stand out.
The resultant sound is deep and dynamic – timeless yet groundbreaking in its originality. MABUTA fuses acoustic and electronic elements on an eight-track album that in years to come will be regarding as a seminal 21st-century addition on South African’s long and proud jazz tradition. The album also ventures further into other parts of Africa, including Mali (on ‘Bamako Love Song’), Nigeria (‘Log Out Shut Down’) and Ethiopia (‘Tafattala).
Worldwide FM will be broadcasting from Rush Hour on 19th of October, 2018 with special guests from 11AM until 6PM (BST) – 12PM-7PM (CEST). You can listen here.
1. Welcome To This World
2. Bamako Love Song (feat. Shabaka Hutchings)
3. Fences (feat. Shabaka Hutchings)
4. Beneath The Waves
5. Log Out Shut Down (feat. Buddy Wells)
6. Tafattala (feat. Reza Khota)
7. The Tunnel
8. As We Drift Away
Shane Cooper – electric bass, double bass, electric guitar, Juno 106, Korg Minilogue, Microkorg, Moog Slim Phatty, Rhodes.
Bokani Dyer – acoustic grand piano, Rhodes, Korg Minilogue
Marlon Witbooi – drums
Sisonke Xonti – tenor saxophone
Robin Fassie-Kock – trumpet
Reza Khota – electric guitar
Shabaka Hutchings – tenor saxophone (tracks 2 & 3)
Buddy Wells – tenor saxophone (track 5)
Chris Engel – alto saxophone (track 5)
Janus Van Der Merwe – baritone saxophone (track 5)
Tlale Makhene – percussion (tracks 2,5,7)
Recorded by Peter Auret and Luyanda Molao at SUMO SOUND in Joburg, and by Shane Cooper at Kujua Studios in Cape Town in 2017.