thulani shuku: colectivo futurecast 095

  • Thulani Shuku
  • Shuku Sounds / Catford Record Club
  • London via Cape Town
  • Mixcloud | Instagram
Instalment number 95 of our futurecast comes courtesy of London based, South African DJ Thulani Shuku. We met Thulani a couple of years ago through futurecast alumni Radio Hobo and we bonded over our shared love for African and Caribbean sounds, which he expertly showcases on this 60 minute mix for us. Dig in!

Artwork is borrowed from an illustration by Dumile Feni

CF: How and where was the mix recorded?

The mix was recorded at my home in South East London. I used two turntables and a mixer.

CF: How did you first get involved with music and how did you start collecting records?

I started getting involved in music in the late 1990s in Cape Town, South Africa. My first music event was a Hip Hop get-together I organised. It had live performances and DJS. It took part in a local hall in Gugulethu, Cape Flats. This was at the height of a gang war that was to an extent fueled or inspired by the West Coast and East Coast saga in America. Luckily it went well without any incidents or complaints from the community as Hip Hop was seen as the problem. Since then I have always been involved in music and visual arts.

My love of records started at the age of 8 or 9 years when I used to raid my dad’s record collection. I really didn’t start properly collecting records until 2006 when I moved to London. Prior to that, I was a bit of a nomad so collecting records would have been too risky.

CF: You recently launched your own record label, Ubuntu Soundz, what is the concept behind the label and what do you have planned for the early days?

I started Ubuntu Soundz with a friend from South Africa around 2008. We have been DJing on and off ever since. We started out as a DJ duo playing sounds deeply rooted in SA music and also exploring African, Latin, and Caribbean. The idea for the label came about from playing and spending time with Matthew Temple from Matsuli Music. The concept was to focus on the SA dance music from the 1960s -1990s. To kick off the label. We were looking to release a series of 45s on 7”, featuring a different artist on each release and commissioning an artist to create artwork inspired by the music. The first release featured two tracks produced by Mike Makhelemele. Remakes of Sugarhill Gang and Fela Kuti.

A. Tutu Gugu – Didipadi (Rapper’s Delight)

B. Shakare – Shakare (Shakara)

After the release, I left Ubuntu Soundz to set up Shuku Sounds and Catford Record Club. More to come on that!

CF: What do you normally listen to at home? What are 3 of your favorite albums past or present?

At home, I mainly listen to similar sounds to those played on this mix. Heavier on the South African music side of things as my favorite albums list will suggest. Also African, Latin, Brazilian, and Caribbean sounds, Jazz from all over, gospel funk and soul.

My Favorite Albums:

Basil Coetzee – Plum and Cherry

The Cannibals – Total Rejection

The Syndicate – Pezulu

CF: What are your favourite spots to dig in and around London?

My favorite and the first record shop I went to when I arrived in the UK is Music and Video Exchange in Greenwich. There is also Lorenzo’s Records Wanted in Brockley, Records on Lee High Road, Lewisham and Rollin Records in West Wickham (A little bit out but worth a visit). Reckless and Sounds of The Universe in Soho. I also love Yoyo Records on Hackney Road!

CF: Records aside, what’s your favorite thing about living in London? What would you recommend to someone visiting for 24h?

Since I had kids I don’t go out as much as I used to! Not at all to be honest! When I do go out I tend to keep it local. That’s the beauty of living in London, you can spend months without ever having to leave your local area because there is so much to do. I like The Fox and Firkin for live music. With my kids, I like going to the Tate Modern and then a boat ride to Greenwich. Deptford Market is also cool! The Bird’s Nest in Deptford is also nice. I like green spaces, Beckenham Place in Beckenham is very nice for long walks.