Fantasma

As hapless music hacks, we’re often accused of coining genres when our limited word banks fail, so it’s a welcome gift when a group like Fantasma does it for us. Self-proclaimed pushers of Guzu, a restlessly progressive amalgam of African sounds and hip-hop sensibility, it’s a diversity that plays up to the vibrant eclecticism of the collective’s roots.

The brainchild of rapper Spoek Mathambo, ‘Free Love’ is a futurist blend of traditional South African styles routed through more familiar forms. Delving into Bacardi house, maskandi rhythms, shangaan electro and hip-hop, the radio-ready ‘My Wave’ sits alongside blipping psych-rock episodes (‘Sophiatown’), and the trusted chorus/rap structure that characterises tracks like ‘Cat & Mouse’, ‘Fire & Smoke’ and ‘Damn’. But buoyed by that township energy and a borderless effervescence, it’s moments like the glorious Dirty Projectors via Jo’burg key change on ‘Higher Power’ and the purple drank drawl of ‘Breaker’ that really make ‘Free Love’ what it is: a bustling, playful party mix that deserves to be explored.

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