BLK JKS’ Latest Album ‘Abantu/Before Humans’ is a Sonic Ode to Pan-Africanism
The South African alternative band, BLK JKS, has returned with its latest album Abantu/Before Humans. The nine-track album is a sonic ode to the continent of Africa that offers a soul-lifting and punk-electronic experience. Abantu/Before Humans comes after the wildly successful 2019 single “Harare” which saw its music video released in April of this year.
Abantu/Before Humans is a long and unapologetic poem that calls for the awakening of Africans to the atrocious ways of living under the capitalist labour force. “Harare” is a track which laments the unemployment plight of Lesotho citizens who have to strategically navigate crossing the borders between South Africa and Lesotho without a passport. The band is known for allowing the various instruments speak for themselves.
The third track “iQ (w) ira — Machine Learning Vol 1.” is an enchanting and hypnotic single that requires deep listening. Drawing from childhood memories and games, “Mme Kelapile” on the other hand, captures melancholic longing for all things past. It is the “Mmao Wa Tseba — Nare/Indaba My Children” track that stands out, running for almost ten minutes and touting a smooth heavy bass underpinning rousing Sotho lyrics. The single also serves as a reference to the late traditional healer and internationally renowned philosopher, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa.
Earlier in the year, the band also formed part of the brave group of artists called #AbahlaliBaseNAC who demonstrated outside South Africa’s National Arts Council (NAC) after the government body was reportedly found to have misappropriated over 21 million U.S dollars. BLK JKS added their voices to the collective of artists who were calling for accountability.
Listen to Abantu/ Before Humans on Spotify.
Listen to Abantu/ Before Humans on Apple Music.