Doctor Philip Tabane (1934 – 2018)

We give thanks and praise to enigmatic, innovative seer and composer-band leader Doctor Philip Tabane, who passed on,  May 18, 2018.

The Dr was a giant. Immense in his power of inheritance, the fierceness of his autonomy, compassion and will to broaden the livable space. Nobody else had such a gift to encompass so many crossroads, to be so free and singular. Nobody else was as gracious, marvelously exploratory and influential, with branches and roots still expanding.

Since the early 60s he forged a musical path that defied boundaries, channeling the voices of his ancestors, the Malombo spirits of Venda, through rich polyrhythmic African beats and alchemic free jazz improvisation.

Tabane toured internationally, playing with jazz greats like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Charles Mingus, but his home was in South Africa with Malombo. Here, working with an ever-shifting cast of musicians, his Malombo Jazz Makers, the master let loose with intricate improvisation and free-form soloing that trace the linage of gospel, blues and funk back to its African roots.

Malombo is not just music. It’s an individualised spirit force that uses song and dance as a vehicle of expression. It’s Tabane eschewing traditional cord structures as he fashions harmonious sound around the innuendo of his voice. It’s the Doctor, dressed in snakeskin trousers, injecting his Gibson hollow-body with an insatiable sense of discovery, coaxing free form sounds by hitting the strings or sparking otherworldly melodies from feather light plucks. It’s energy music, a potent life force that reignites black consciousness and speaks to the soul while insisting you get up and dance. Malombo music is at once ritual and meditation, celebration and lamment, prayer and vision.


As Sello Edwin Galane wrote: “Malombo is essentially a Venda word that means spiritual healing deity. Used as a singular noun in Tshivenda, it is called leombo. In Sepedi, it is called ‘lepopo’. Without going much into the anthropological and etymological extrapolation of the concept, it suffices… to point out that malombo is a known concept and phenomenon common to African healing practice in South Africa.”

Listen to Dr Philip Tabane live at the Pan African Space Station, St Georges Cathedral, Cape Town (2010)

Category: News | Tags: | Leave a comment

Denderah Rising with Georgia Anne Muldrow + Thandi Ntuli Quartet + The Monkey Nuts live in Jo’burg

“Sound is defined by vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach the ear. Yet there is more to it when one imagines the hearing process as an involuntary command placed upon the body to be processed instantly. This realization can lead us to use sound as a means to inoculate one another with positivity, encouragement, and a connective awareness if we so choose. In our earth’s recent history, there has been …  ( continue reading

Category: News | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sibusile Xaba live at the PASS studio, Cape Town

The Healer and crew – live in the PASS studio (Chimu factory on long st if you no know). Drop by or tune in for medicine.  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog | Leave a comment

This Way I Salute You – a live broadcast for Keorapetse Kgositsile

On Friday 19, from 6pm we gathered in the Chimurenga/PASS radio studio on Long Street to give thanks to Keorapetse William Kgositsile (19 September 1938 – 3 January 2018). The session is hosted by Uhuru Phalafala and Bongani Kona and features contributions by Harry Garuba, Karen Press, and Julie Nxadi. We also listened and broadcast recordings of his performances, interviews etc, and the work he often made reference to: Dyani’s bass, the words of Baraka and Neruda etc. Please join …  ( continue reading

Category: News | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Who Killed Kabila

The Pan African Space Station/Chimurenga Library at La Colonie, Paris 13 December – 17 December 2018 Chimurenga returns to Paris for a 5-day intervention and installation at La Colonie. From December 13 – 17, 2017, we will install a live radio station and a research library, and host talks, screenings and performances that asks ‘Who Killed Kabila?’, as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination. The equation is simple: the length of a …  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog, Pass Pop-up | Tags: | 1 Comment

PASS landing in Harare, Zimbabwe

From 9 – 12 November, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) will land in The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in the centre of Harare – broadcasting LIVE from 15:00 – 21:00 (CAT) daily. Join us at NGZ or via our live stream. In collaboration with visual artist Kudzanai Chiurai, who will launch his first ever solo exhibition in his home country titled ‘We Need New Names’, Chimurenga will install the PASS studio as a public research platform towards our upcoming Zimbabwe focused …  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog, Pass Pop-up | Tags: , | Leave a comment

PASS in Mexico: Champeta Punk

                  Champeta Punk will be residents of the Pan African Space Station LIVE from Mexico City from 31 October – 5 November (no broadcast on Wednesday 1 November due to Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead), everyday from 16:00 – 20:00 (CDT). Tune in via Champeta Punk is a party collective based in Mexico City and Bogotá. Started in 2013 by two Colombians living in Mexico City, David Rincon and Fabian Vega, the …  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog, Pass Pop-up | Tags: , | Leave a comment

PASS in Mexico: Cooperativa Cráter Invertido

Cooperative Cráter Invertido will be residents of the Pan African Space Station LIVE from Mexico City from 25 – 29 October, everyday from 16:00 – 20:00 (CDT). Tune in via Cooperativa Cráter Invertido is an imaginary space that often materializes in San Rafael, Mexico City. In this imaginary territory, the cooperative explores various collaborative projects, including the ‘Editorial Production Workshop’, a collective of editorial projects dedicated to the reflection and critical practice of trade and consumerism; and ‘Radio Tropiezo’, a free online …  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog | Tags: , | Leave a comment


(read Spanish version below) with Diana J. Torres aka Pornoterrorista and guests, and with sound manipulations by Constanza Piña THU Oct 19, 21:30 local time Mexico City For centuries medical science has been the enemy of of the body and sexuality of women, silencing anatomic realities and pathologizing everything that doesn’t fit in the phallocratic and heteronormative, binary division of gender roles. This workshop aims at revealing one of the most controversial aspects of vaginas: their ejaculation. And at the …  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog, Pass Pop-up | Leave a comment

Pan African Space Station lands in Mexico City

From 4 October – 26 November 2017, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) is now broadcasting LIVE from Museo Tamayo, Mexico City. For 8 weeks, the PASS studio will function as “ecole du soir” (evening school) – a meeting place, a classroom, and laboratory where different worlds will converge. The radio programming explores the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, contemporary South Atlantic exchanges and Afro-Mexican cultures – it is also a public research platform toward a forthcoming edition of the Chimurenga Chronic on …  ( continue reading

Category: News, Pass Blog | Tags: , , | Leave a comment