BLK JKS 'Abantu / Before Humans' LP out 05/21/21

Article Contributed by Tiny Human | Published on Thursday, March 4, 2021

We Are Busy Bodies is very pleased to announce that “Running - Asibaleki / Sheroes Theme", the first single from the forthcoming BLK JKS LP Abantu / Before Humans (out 05.21) can now be heard everywhere via:

Pre-order the album:

The story of BLK JKS (pronounced Black Jacks) reads like a real life rock’n’roll legend. For a couple of years around the end of the 00’s, the enigmatic South African rock quartet was ascendant. “Discovered” by Diplo, they went on to befriend everyone from The Mars Volta to TV On The Radio. They played double bills with Squarepusher at South Bank (UK) and Femi Kuti at Irving Plaza (NYC). They recorded an EP named Mystery at Jimi Hendrix’s iconic Electric Lady Studios. This and a Fader Magazine cover feature led to the band signing with Secretly Canadian in 2009.

Their debut album After Robots went on to blow down the walls of rock'n'roll Jericho with its heady mix of post-apocalyptic African funk rock, jazz, kwaito, renegade dub, psych-prog, mbaqanga, and soul. Dave Grohl declared After Robots his favourite album of 2009.  A live collaboration with Alicia Keys at the 2010 World Cup Kick-Off Concert to an estimated audience of two billion and their song “Lakeside” being synched on EA Sports’ FIFA10 soundtrack led to Rolling Stone dubbing BLK JKS “Africa’s best new band”.

Just as quickly as they arrived, BLK JKS disappeared. After opening for Foo Fighters in 2014, Grohl inspired the band to forge on. Now, we are here in the future. BLK JKS finally re-enter the musical fray with their long-awaited new album Abantu / Before Humans. Their prequel to After Robots, Abantu is a surreal journey of an album, beaming with vision and power; yet it possesses a hauntingly vulnerable beauty.

There is a lot of important information stored and needing to be restored or preserved in this kind of narrow sonic crevice we are mining” says Mpumelelo Mcata (Guitarist). It's this commitment to cultural activism that encodes the musical DNA of Abantu / Before Humans.  The band declare as much on the new album's manifesto - we see on the cover art text that reads: "A complete fully translated and transcribed Obsidian Rock Audio Anthology chronicling the ancient spiritual technologies and exploits of prehistoric, post-revolutionary afro bionics and sacred texts from The Great Book On Arcanum by Supernal 5th Dimension Bound 3rd Dynasty young Kushites from Azania."

Wait up, what to make of such an arcane, unabashedly literary, sonic fiction? Simple. Back in 2009 BLK JKS had foreseen the future with After Robots. With Abantu / Before Humans BLK JKS have lit the flames that created the soundtrack for the nascent neo-Afropunk movement in their home country of South Africa… no doubt soon to spread across the world.

BLK JKS are:

Mpumelelo Mcata (Guitars & Vox)
Tshepang "RMBO" Ramoba (Drums & Vox)
Molefi Makananise (Bass & Vox)
Tebogo Seitei (Trumpet & Vox)