Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness ‘EMAKHOSINI’ (Buda Musique) 4/5

Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness want you to listen and listen good; South Africa needs to change. On ‘Emakhosini’, BCUC continue the protest started by first self-produced album ‘Our Truth’, which saw a track banned from being played on the radio. If the recently released single ‘Nobody Knows’ is anything to go by, the seven-piece aren’t going to stop getting under those in power’s skin.

Frontman Jovi says “Nobody Knows is talking about the resilience that we need to have in these hard times. We have already been through the hardest times, and we can’t give up now.” The world says “tell us more.” BCUC oblige with venom.

For South Africa, despite all its perceived richness, is still a torn country, and the band fight this modern Apartheid with fire-bellied breakdowns and nguni beats. Spinning Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat with Death Grips-esque chanting, the four track riles and wreathes with intermingled beautified tension.

“We see ourselves as modern freedom fighters who have to tell the story of Soweto’s past, present, and future,” says Jovi. The plight of the modern, unemployed worker, forever at the bottom of the food chain, is told in eleven languages to grab every faction of South African society by the ear.

BCUC rehearse in a converted shipping container doubling as a community run restaurant, a stones-throw away from the church where Desmond Tutu organised the escape of Soweto’s most wanted anti-Apartheid activists. Their music is music for the people, by the people, with the people, regardless of the colour of their skin.

Soweto has long been the epicentre of South African fight the system mentality. Once Mbqanga was the messenger, and jazz the thumb-snapping friend; now it’s time for BCUC’s Afro-psychedelic Zulu madness to shout at the world and make it dance for social change.

The band are performing at Rich Mix in London on the 10th April.

Sam Turnell