"Sebenza" means "work" in Zulu. As the hook says on LV's tricky, percolating title-track opener, work is a year-round pursuit, with only the holiday season as respite: "Se-sebenza, only rest in December." Over a never-stop kwaito pulse and between rapper Okmalumkoolkat's slippery verses and rolled Rs, the catchy refrain ties the song to South Africa. And yet LV, who have also worked with Toronto's Zaki Ibrahim, are a trio of Londoners.
This is their first release on Hyperdub, the enigmatic British label headed by Kode9, who plays Wrongbar on Wednesday (September 19). High-tempo global riddims, lean, space-filled compositions and cheeky, culture-clashing exchanges overrun the album. Rappers Spoek Mathambo and Ruffest also feature, twisting hyper-contemporary references - Twitter, MacBooks, MPEGs, blogs - around a minor-chord-heavy digitized scaffold. There's an underlying complexity here, but ultimately these are bare, potent rhythms created to, in global parlance, make you "werq."
Top track: Sebenza