With their slow-stepping, spacious urban dubscapes, Space Afrika harness ambient, Detroit techno and shades of early nineties Sheffield with a fresh and open approach to composition — this is dub techno stripped-down, sealed in a time capsule and sent back from the near future. Friends for almost two decades, the two Joshua's formed Space Afrika after years of listening to music together, sequestered by harsh Northern winters. Heavily inspired by the industrial architecture of Northwest England and notions of travel, their sonic framework evokes images of rust and disintegrating concrete, and sensations of movement and redemption — exuding a distorted analogue soul offering escape into their overcast skies.
Their releases Above The Concrete/Below The Concrete (2014) and Somewhere Decent To Live (2018) were sparse, spacious yet intimate electronic abstractions, partly inspired by their observations of industrial landscapes and experiences of life in the North of England.
Purveyors of unearthed gems, their radio shows on NTS Radio display a breadth of curiosities in experimental and ambient music.
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 broadcast on NTS Radio before being edited down to a half-hour collage and released a few days later in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. As Black Lives Matter protests were gathering momentum across the U.S. and UK, the Manchester duo’s self-released mixtape captures the 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 ambient albums of 2020, sales of the mixtape continue to raise funds for Black Minds Matter UK, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and multiple other organizations supporting the fight for racial equality.
Over the last two years, the duo have also been collaborating with the photographer, filmmaker and poet Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh. Together, the three of them created a new short film, Untitled (To Describe You), premiering in November 2020 as part of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. In January 2021, they announced their signing to Dais Records.
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