In partnership with Hyperdub, Black Major will be releasing the anticipated Closer Apart album across Africa on 6 July 2018 via new label, Black Major Release.
Okzharp and Manthe Ribane is producer Okzharp, vocalist, artist and dancer Manthe Ribane. Working closely with photographer and film maker, Chris Saunders on this project, they all hail from South Africa, where Manthe still resides, although Okzharp lives in the London where he is a DJ and producer, initially cutting his teeth in LV, who were one of the first acts to sign to Hyperdub.
Manthe has been at the forefront of South Africa’s cutting edge fashion art and dance for over a decade, and Chris had worked with LV, making promo videos focussed on South Africa’s dance and fashion sub-cultures with the artists they collaborated with for their ‘Sebenza’ album.
When Okzharp left LV, he spoke to Chris about an idea for a film, and was introduced to Manthe, who was then a dancer and choreographer for Die Antwoord as a possible lead. They hit it off, and upon hearing Manthe singing to herself, they started collaborating musically, releasing two well received EP’s on Hyperdub, recorded in Joburg and London respectively.
At the same time as the success of the group, Manthe’s profile blossomed in South Africa, creating art and performance and working with brands. Most recently she featured on the cover of South African Elle magazine, and has been building up the ‘Dear Ribane’ production company she runs with her brother and sister.
The recording of ‘Closer Apart’ reflects the title. It started on tour, in Chris’ new Paris studio. Okzharp says ‘most of the music came out of headphone moments in hotel rooms, planes and airports in the brief periods of time that we spent together, in Paris and later Vienna’, a city Manthe describes as a ‘beautiful dream place’.
Pre-order for Closer Apart will be from 17 May 2018.