Music

Your Soul Needs This Hypnotic New BCUC Album More Than You Know

The 'Emakhosini' consists of three songs and spans a whole 40 minutes. Get lost in it.

When I was growing up in Swaziland, every now and then, I would be exposed to sangomas and gatherings involving the honoring of the ancestors. I observed some rituals being performed. Those rituals involved a lot of signing, dancing, chanting, screaming, stomping of the ground and the sound of drums.

The music of BCUC, aka Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness, the 7-piece "afro psychedelic" band from Soweto, reminds me of those ceremonies.


The singing contains the same eeriness. The bongo drums create an environment that makes even the faithless consider that maybe there's more to life than meets the eye.

Just like on their 2016 debut album, Our Truth, the band's latest album, Emakhosini, is hypnotic. It contains just three songs that are, on average, 15 minutes long each. Only the third song, which is the album's lead single, is the standard length at 3:25.

It takes a lot to make long songs long that feel short. And the songs on Emakhosini aren't just long for the sake of it. It's like a long form essay that boasts colorful details that you can't fit in a byte size piece. The songs on the album often feel like many songs preceding each other at times, but the ever-present bass guitar and percussions always tie them together.

The songs meander, contort, dip and peak; with extensive transitions in between that make all these changes make sense.

The music is highly spiritual in nature—"Nobody Knows" plays out like a Zion church hymn, and the chants and screams just remind me of church. It's the bongo drums and the rapping (if I may) that give it a twist.

The first two songs are like the soundtrack of the rituals and sessions I mentioned earlier. As the name of the album says, you are among your ancestors and kings.

Emakhosini will hypnotize you for a whole 40 minutes, and just like with most pieces of art that are highly spiritual, the effect will differ from one individual to another.

Music
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 15 Best South African Summer Songs of 2018

These are the hits South Africans will be losing their morals to this December.

In summer, especially the month of December, South Africa becomes something else.

December (or should we say Dezemba) is a lifestyle of some sort, where people forget about their troubles, work… pretty much everything and become shamelessly hedonistic—and we are totally here for that.

But there's nothing that makes Dezemba more memorable than the songs of the summer. It's those songs that are a permanent fixture on every South African's playlist as they take a break from a long and stressful year (2018 has been a lot!).

Below, we list some songs that have potential to be the soundtrack to December in South Africa. Some have already picked up in the past few months, while others are teeming with potential.

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Video
Photo: Sipho the Gift.

Watch Sipho the Gift's New Music Video for 'Hold Up'

The talented South African MC drops a vibrant visual for his latest single.

Sipho the Gift is the budding South African rapper who is known for his bold and thought-provoking lyricism.

He just released the music video for "Hold Up," his groovy new single.

"It's a song about young love and I wanted that to translate through to the visuals by telling a love story," he tells us.

Shot in Cape Town by Jasyn Howes with the help of VideoCartel, this video captures the subtle joys of youth and romance.

Check out Sipho the Gift's new music video for "Hold Up" below.

You can also watch the music video in full over at iTunes.

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News Brief

A Film Based on a Novel by Acclaimed Kenyan Author Ngugi wa Thiong'o Is In the Works

Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan is developing Ngugi's novel "Matigari" with Kenyan and South African filmmakers.

A novel by Kenya's own Ngugi wa Thiong'o is being adapted to a film, Brittle Paper reports.

Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan shared at the Africa Movie Academy Awards that Ngugi's 1987 work, Matigari, is in development with Kenyan and South African filmmakers, who have yet to be revealed.

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