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Mathambo working the crowd into a FANTASMA frenzyPhotography by Maxine Rothbart-Thomik

The future sounds of LimPOP

Cutting the bright lights and bullshit for South Africa's biggest underground music night

Maboneng's LimPOP was always going to be more than just about the music. The one-night-only showcase of South African sound was energy personified and played on high last weekend. Featuring Dazed favourite Spoek Mathambo's new supergroup with DJ Spoko, Fantasma, Cape Town's John Wizards, Jozi's ‘Golden Sons’, The Brother Moves On, plus Blk Jks and Motèl Mari, the night was a cultivation of South African history, heritage and soul. Maboneng – Sotho for 'place of light' – hosted something of a milestone for the country: a coming together of different cultures; childhoods and languages as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy. In this exclusive gallery from Maxine Rothbart-Thomik below Mathambo, John Wizards, Spoko and co. revel in a night built around the future of South African sound. 

But it seems like this future sound is better recognised overseas than it is locally with LimPOP's acts remaining relatively uncelebrated back home. “With overplayed pop music and playlists ruling the airwaves and the same tired headliners at every major event, LimPOP instead captures the boundary-pushing creative energy driving our cities,” LimPOP organisers, Kitcheners' Andrew the DJ Events and Broaden A New Sound, told us.

The night was about leaving behind the bright lights and bullshit – almost coming close to no lights at all with one ill-timed generator mishap. John Wizards' lead vocalist described it as a kind of creative escape, "I've been writing new music in Cape Town and lately feeling as though I were in the creative doldrums. There's an incredibly vibrant and stimulating atmosphere at LimPOP, and the feeling of being there is something that I think I've managed to bring back with me. Plus our own song "Limpop" has never been so well received!"

You can stream an hour-long mix of artists featured on the night courtesy of LimPOP DJ Plaat Japie below: