Keleketla! is a musical collaboration that transcends the distance between artists across the globe – reaching outward from Johannesburg to Lagos, London, Los Angeles and West Papua.
Keleketla! – “response” in Sepedi – started as a musical meeting ground between Ninja Tune cofounders Coldcut – Matt Black and Jonathan More – and a cadre of South African musicians, including the malombo guitarist and singer Sibusile Xaba and rapper Yugen Blakrok (Black Panther).
From those initial sessions, the record grew to include over 20 artists, including such musical giants as the late Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, gqom producer DJ Mabheko, keyboardist Dele Sosimi, esteemed percussionist Thabang Tabane, legendary LA spoken word pioneers The Watts Prophets and West Papuan activist Benny Wenda.
Keleketla! is about finding musical connections. Starting with the tight community around the Keleketla! Library, this project has grown out of those closely forged bonds that can develop around music. Recalling the records he was introduced to and friends made while in South Africa, More says, “There’s music lovers everywhere and that’s what we thrive with.” Keleketla! is about embracing that call and response tradition, and seeing where it takes you.”
The Keleketla! album ticks all the boxes that distinguish collaboration from exploitation. It is at once a celebration and a call to action.
“Coldcut and an inspiring array of South African and British musicians – plus the late Tony Allen – combine on this beguiling album”
Global album of the month 4 Out of 5 Stars The Guardian
“Keleketla! is a studio assemblage of musicians from four continents, creating thoroughly hybridized music with African voices up front.”
CRITIC’S PICK The New York Times