SPAZA (Mushroom Hour)

Music / Power Station

Lauded South African experimentalists – SPAZA – will be in residence at this year’s NAF, workshopping an entirely new suite of music that will be premiered at NAF before they travel to Europe early July to present the work at the prestigious Roskilde music festival in Denmark. This new work will see them engaging sonically with audio archive sourced from the International Library of African Music (ILAM – Rhodes University).

“The trombone, violin, and electronically warped vocals resemble futuristic R&B one moment, Sun Ra at his most spacebound the next” — Pitchfork, The Best Experimental Albums of 2019


Ayanda Zalekile – Electric Bass / Vocals
Gontse Makhene – Percussion
Linda Tshabalala – Alto Sax
Lungile Kunene – Drums
Malcolm Jiyane – Trombone / Vocals
Nkosinathi Mathunjwa – Keyboard / Vocals
Nosisi Ngakane – Vocals & FX

Curator(s): Mushroom Hour Half Hour

Sound Engineer: Elijah Madiba


SPAZA is a rotating recording ensemble curated by Mushroom Hour featuring musicians from Johannesburg’s jazz, afro funk and experimental electro scenes. Each line-up is assembled for the express purpose of recording or performing once-off improvised or workshopped material. They have released two albums to date. The first was the critically acclaimed eponymous self titled debut in 2019, which was an entirely improvised album recorded live, in one take, featuring the likes of Siya Makuzeni, Nosisi Ngakane and Gontse Makhene. The second album, titled “UPRIZE”, was released in 2020 and featured the music they made for the score of a documentary of the same name about the 1976 student uprisings in South Africa. This album featured the likes of Nonku Phiri and Malcolm Jiyane and was also met with international praise from critics and music lovers alike.

“Their cyclical patterns may call to mind the steady tread of an evening walk in the woods, the comforts of nature and the danger of darkness closing in around you” New York Times

“a deeply touching work of both historic testimony and a remarkably prescient suite of mood music that has anticipated our current moment” The Guardian

“SPAZA defied all categorization and fearlessly explored a rarefied new space” The Best Albums of 2019 on Bandcamp

“It’s incantatory music – militant, luminous and fresh” The Wire Magazine

“South African experimentalists SPAZA sound equal parts incantation and cosmic message, with shades of Arthur Russell in their rolling congas and staccato strings. A trip, for sure” The Quietus

  • Venue: Power Station
  • City: Makhanda
  • Location: The Black Power Station Industrial Area, Rautenbach Rd, Grahamstown, Makhanda, 6139
  • Ticket Price: R75.00
  • Genre: Music
  • Duration: 90mins
  • Ages: All Ages
June 24, 2022   21:30 - 23:00
June 25, 2022   16:00 - 17:30
June 26, 2022   16:00 - 17:30