Manchester UK’s Space Afrika make music of what they term “overlapping moments” –oblique mosaics of dialogue, rhythm, texture, and shadow, half-heard through a buswindow on a rainy night.
Their releases Above The Concrete/Below The Concrete (2014) and Somewhere Decent To Live (2018) were sparse, spacious yet intimate electronic abstractions, partly inspired bytheir observations of industrial landscapes and experiences of life in the North of England.
In 2020, Space Afrika released their most emotionally charged project to date, hybtwibt? (have you been through what i’ve been through?). First recorded for broadcaston NTS Radio before being edited down to a half-hour collage and released a few days laterin the wake of George Floyd’s murder. As Black Lives Matter protests were gatheringmomentum across the U.S. and UK, the Manchester duo’s self-released mixtape capturesthe unrest with intercutting fragments of their own unreleased work. Described as a“dreamlike tapestry”, and hailed by Pitchfork and Bandcamp as one of the best ambientalbums of 2020, sales of the mixtape continue to raise funds for Black Minds Matter UK andthe Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in support of the fight for racial equality.
The duo went on to release in the spring of 2021, Untitled (To Describe You), a collaborationwith photographer, filmmaker and poet Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh, generating a living,breathing study of the duo's Northern working-class Black British reality.
In January 2021, they announced their signing to Dais Records. Honest Labour, the duo'sfirst full-length since 2020's landmark "hybtwibt?" mixtape (have you been through whatI’ve been through?) expands the project's palette with classical strings, shimmering guitar,and visionary vocal cameos, leaning further into their enigmatic fusion of ambient unrestand cosmic downtempo. It's a sound both fogged and fragmented, at the axis of songcraftand sound design, born from and for the yearning solitudes of life under lockdown.