Epic and inventive afropsychedelia. To anyone who has ever experienced them live or on record, BCUCs relevance to this years theme for Oslo World should be pretty obvious.
Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness from Soweto, South Africa is all about movement. Movement of sound waves, of bodies and of the collective consciousness.
“We’re doing music for the people, by the people, with the people,” singer Nkosi “Jovi” Zithulele has explained in an interview. It is a fitting motto for the band’s blend of outspoken lyrics, delivered with punk-like intensity over epic afrofusion rhythm tapestries.
Their sound is both subtle and hard hitting, centered around their percussionists and the endlessly inventive, nimble bass playing from Mosebetsi Jan Nzimande – a true master of the instrument. Their last full length album, The Healing from 2019, is a tour de force, showcasing their ability to sustain their energy both in the single format and on mind expanding tracks reaching well beyond the fifteen minute mark. There are no easy comparisons for them, but in many ways, BCUC can be viewed as the artistic heirs to South African trailblazers like Philip “Malombo” Tabane and Batsumi – as well as one of the foremost examples of the country’s vibrant and unpredictable music scene today. They give contemporary voice to their ancestral traditions of indigenous peoples, tackling the harsh realities of the voiceless, especially the plight of the uneducated workers at the bottom of the social food chain. They have mesmerized audiences at home and abroad the last decades, and have gained fervent admirers such as DJ and BBC radio personality Gilles Peterson. Along the way, they have made many fans here in Norway as well – we count ourselves among them. In 2022 it is a true joy to finally welcome them to Tromsø World.