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Scamtho Shrooms

“Inside of me
there is no room for cappuccino
home made brew and beers collide
causing me to vomit
inside of me joe
barekesa malana le mohodo
madombolo le magwinya
oesaphagus color bar print slow down jabs langs aan

inside of me joe
sponge lungs chicken bean bones
flat tube archer ginger cake spinza oven grey
time tick tock ticks drum turn
fantastic orange heart beat yo yo flex
inside of me
someone is knocking passionately 
to no avail ” – Mboneni ‘Bra Ike’ Muila

Upon witnessing the style and rhythm with which Bra Ike kicked the above poem live at the Afrikan Freedom Station in May 2013, Radio Robert knew that the South African soul 45s he had been getting emcees to rap over in Volume I of Word on Wax were made for Bra Ike. Thus for Scamtho Shrooms we decided to revisit the soul 45s just one more time.

Once again, we lugged the turntables, wax & broadcast gear and off we went, this time to Mofolo Central in Soweto to kick it at Bra Ike’s house.

In Bra Ike’s own words: “My narrative oral mix is in the 11 languages spoken in South Africa … the so-called Tsotsitaal, Isicamtho language alive and kicking … a mixture of languages into a witty lingo, a language of identity, a language of the ordinary person in the street ……..”. Like train surfing to the rhythm of The Movers, he weaves words poised with the flair of a pantsula dancer. Whether recounting stories of gastronomy gone wrong in Inside of Me or reminiscing about his late brother in Bra Frisco, he provides a snapshot of an urban argot no longer in use.

“As the repeater drum gives way to the perky trumpet funk of Blue Mitchell’s Swahili Suite, Muila’s nimble cadence slips through the crackle of the recording like an okapi sliding back from between a kleva’s perforated rib.” – Kwanele Sosibo, Mail & Guardian

You can apparently download the show here


Recorded live at Bra Ike’s house in Mofolo Central, Soweto on 1 February 2014

On the Word: Mboneni ‘Bra Ike’ Muila
On the Wax: Radio Robert
Host: Kool oNe Ebony
Special Cameo Performance: oNe:Drous oNe*

Audio recorded by João Orecchia
Audio edited and Mixed by Mushroom Hour Half Hour

Cover Design by Mzwandile Buthelezi of Satta Design
Photographs taken by Nhlanhla Masondo and João Orecchia

Filmed by Breeze Yoko and Nhlanhla Masondo
Film edited by Breeze Yoko

Curated by Andrew Curnow & Nhlanhla Mngadi

Shout out to Sifiso Khanyile for the hook up!


Part I • Same Style Same Pattern, As Usual As Always

Tom Waits – Frank’s Wild Years (Island, 1983)
Mulatu – Mulatu (Worthy Records, 1972)
Count Ossie & Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – Way Back Home (1974)
Blue Mitchell – Swahilli Suite (Blue Note, 1978)
Fred Wesley & The New J.B.’s – Little Boy Black (People Records, 1974)
The Gaturs – Gator Bait (Gatur Records)
Jack McDuff – The City Bump (Cadet, 1974)

Part II • Maboneng Express • Kasi Prent Shosholoza Style

KMD – Mr Hood Gets A Haircut (Elektra Records, 1991)
The Brights – Vaal Soul (Atlantic City)
The Sounds – Braa Biza (Atlas City)
The Soul Throbs – Throbs Away (Pirate)
The City Slickers – Madalas Mood (Akulalwa)
Soul of the City – Diagonal Street Blues (Joburg, 1975)
Abacothozi – Thema Maboneng (Soul Jazz Pop, 1975)

Part III • Ons Dak Nie, Ons Phola Hier

Malombo Jazz Makers – Sibathathu (Gallo, 1971)
Pat Matshikiza & Kippie Moketsi – Stop and Start (The Sun, 1975)
Mankunku Quartet – Yakhal’ Inkomo (Teal Sound)
Dollar Brand – Whoza Mtwana (Elektra Records, 1980)
Batsumi – Lishonile (R&T, 1974)