The Soweto band, Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness, more concisely known at BCUC, have released a new video in anticipation of their new album.
It’s a great introduction to a fascinating group that is both modern and rootsy, definitely South African, but worldly. Their music is influenced by punk and Afro-jazz, and driven by hand percussion. Their singers move like MCs but, as you’ll see in the video, punctuate their lines with indlamu dance steps—something Western audiences may recognize most easily from Ladysmith Black Mambazo's choreography. Imagine if the legendary Soweto jazz group Batsumi had been listening to Bad Brains instead of Charlie Parker and you're getting close.
The new track, “Nobody Knows” traces the thick lines connecting African-American gospel traditions to South Africa. The video slides through the faces and places of the band's hometown.
Singer Jovi explains, “The song and the video are talking about the resilience that we need to have in these hard times (politically). We already have been through the hardest times and we can’t give up now. We can’t be busy attacking each other, we need to keep the eyes on the ball.”
Their new album was recorded in Lyons, France and is due for release April 6 on Buda Music.