Video

This South African Band Hacked A Video Game For Their New Visuals

South African band Motèl Mari share the video game visuals for "Ambition Block" off their debut album 'Eternal Peasant.'

Motèl Mari. Photo via Facebook.


BLK JKS members Mpumi Mcata, Tshepang Ramoba and Brooklyn-born collaborator João Orecchia explore punk-inspired guitar soundscapes and scattering experimental beat work as Motèl Mari.

The South African-based band, who describe their sound as Pop Psychadelique Africaine, are now sharing their new video game-inspired visuals for “Ambition Block” from their debut album Eternal Peasant. It warps and distorts the classic Atari game Centipede, hacking its graphics and adding in silhouettes of dancers swaying to the tune.

Motèl Mari sent the following text to accompany the video:

Down the endless twisting corridors of the Motèl / secret rooms open onto heavens hells and purgatories / get stuck into tumbling worlds of the past and future / our peasant ancestors pushing us forward and calling us back / so much to discover in a world of Eternal Peasantry / jump into the game / jump into the television / Block your Ambition for a minute, kid / there’s a whole universe out there.

Watch the video for “Ambition Block” below, Eternal Peasant is out now on Other Electricities.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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