Hear Spaza’s soundtrack for Soweto uprising doc ‘Uprize!’

The Johannesburg collective improvised to footage from the 2017 documentary.

South African collective Spaza have released Uprize!, their improvised soundtrack for the 2017 film of the same name about the 1976 Soweto uprising.

The Johannesburg ensemble, who reached a wider audience with their 2019 self-titled album, recorded the album in 2016 by improvising over three days to projected footage from director Sifiso Khanyile’s documentary, which was at the time still unfinished.

Snippets of dialogue from the documentary weave their way through the nine-track record, which is an at times heady, at others mournful accompaniment to the film about the pivotal protests in the Johannesburg township of Soweto that marked a turning point in the fight against apartheid.


Spaza is a collective with no permanent personnel, and while the rhythm section of bassist Ariel Zamonsky and percussionist Gontse Makhene remains, Uprize! introduces Malcolm Jiyane (piano/trombone/vocals) and Nonku Phiri (vocals).

Stream Uprize! below:

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