Dumama + Kechou – Buffering Juju
South Africa’s Mushroom Hour Half Hour label has been releasing some of the more ear-tickling sounds from the country’s experimental scene in recent years. There was 2019’s propulsive free-jazz ensemble debut Spaza, a series of beautiful folk-led guitar and vocal releases from Sibusile Xaba in 2017 and percussionist Thabang Tabane’s 2018 debut. Now offering up the label’s most narratively driven record is Johannesburg duo Dumama + Kechou.
Loosely concerning the story of a woman released from prison and her shapeshifting attempts to connect with the landscape via spiritual entities, its impressionistic folkloric narrative is sung in layered harmonies by Gugulethu Duma (AKA Dumama) and backed by choppy electro-acoustic production from Algerian-German Kerim Melik Becker (Kechou).
Read the column in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 13/03/20]