Introducing: BCUC's sensational Soweto Afro-psychedelia

Introducing: BCUC's sensational Soweto Afro-psychedelia

Mon Sep 3rd

The sensational Afro-psychedelic collective BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) started out as a social gathering in their native township of Soweto, South Africa. Even with a relatively short history behind them, they have rapidly grown to become an internationally recognized force geared towards "solution-driven" politics and fervent appetite for collaboration.

BCUC is an alliance of guitarists, djembe players, flute artists, and spoken word assassins. Bringing all these elements together, the music blends genres across the ages, as BCUC also draws inspiration from indigenous music that is not often exposed in the mainstream. They have coined their Afro-psychedelic approach to music 'Africangungungu', the core idea being that the music refuses to be reduced to a single style or form.

The band's tracks almost seem like incantations, their whirlwind of funky modulation often extending over twenty minutes in length in a style similar to Fela Kuti's Afrobeat. The collective has quickly become one of South Africa’s most celebrated musical exports, because of their high-energy performances and relentless groove. The outfit of seven musicians all grew up in the same township in South Africa, and work together like a powerful alliance.

"'We believe in ancestors,' explains Jovi, speaking over the phone from Soweto. "Ancient, old-fashioned stuff is sacred to us. We see [ourselves] in that lineage: in those songs that were never written down." Traditional ceremonies, and the music enmeshed in those ritual celebrations, have shaped what BCUC does. Underscoring the point, emakhosini is a Zulu word, which translates to mean the experience of being among your ancestors, or a place made home by kings and queens." - Bandcamp.

As an introduction of BCUC's music, one of their shorter tracks is a great start. 'Nobody Knows' is a mellowjam with a large selection of percussive elements and soothing basswork, while at the same time, a troubled message alights the lyrics: "Nobody knows the troubles I've seen / Nobody knows my sorrows". You can hear and see the group's preoccupation with the people from South-Africa; the video starts off with short anecdotes being told by people about their youth growing up in South-Africa, edited together with news footage of demonstrations and confrontations in the street.

Above all, BCUC exudes a love of life and their community with 'Nobody Knows'. A true and honest expression of their own mission: music "for the people, by the people, and with the people."

BCUC's performance at Le Guess Who? 2018 is curated by Shabaka Hutchings. This curated program also features a.o. Sons of Kemet XL, The Comet is Coming, Kadri Gopalnath, Paddy Steer, King Ayisoba, Sibusile Xaba, Ill Considered, and many more.