Black Motion’s set to get your motor going
It’s ancestral African drums with super dance moves, writes
IN MY book, South African music producers Black Motion are the number one live act in the country. The pair, from Soshanguve in Pretoria, Bongani “Murdah” Mohosana and Thabo “Smol” Mabogwane are something else on stage. I saw their performance at the LITTLEGIG 24H FESTIVAL in Stellenbosch in February and the show makes the list of the most memorable experiences I will never forget.
Vivid images of my sneaker-clad feet stomping the dusty basketball court and hips swaying to the music are still fresh in my mind. Upfront on the dark stage, Mohosana and Mabogwane’s silhouettes had us following their every move, one moment they were on top of the turntables and the next, furiously playing the African drums while doing a variation of dance moves.
They performed for more than an hour and I danced until they were done.
I would describe their sound as spiritual, heavily drawing from the realm of the ancestors, their Pedi culture and the South African house music flavour. The presence of the African drum can be heard in almost every song… making the sound distinctly African.
A friend of mine from their hometown tells me the pair has managed to do something phenomenal by encapsulating the Pretoria street and dance culture with their personal flavour which then resulted in music that resonates with people from all types of cultures and backgrounds.
I met Black Motion at their prealbum release listening session in Cape Town recently.
Guests turned up in their numbers. The blended Scotch whisky Ballantine’s was flowing and their clothing sponsor menswear brand S.P.C.C (Sergeant Pepper) was on display.
As their new tunes filled the room, it immediately became a dance fest. Their fifth album titled
which means spirit of the bones in Sepedi was released last Friday and it’s getting a big thumbs up from all around.
They tell me that represents a body of work that is guided by the spirit of the bones.
“Everything behind our music is meant to inspire. We hope to inspire the youth especially, and encourage them not to forget about their culture and where they come from;
“… Not to forget about the people who have paved the way for us while we continue with our journey here on Earth,” says Mohosana
In the album they have collaborated with several SA artists, including on some of my favourite songs featuring Tabia; featuring Mafikizolo; and
featuring Culoe De Song.
“There are different cultures featured on this album and the message we are spreading is that you can still be cool, while embracing your roots.
“Whether you are a Pedi or Tsonga, its okay to celebrate who you are in this modern world, while respecting other cultures as well… We are spreading a message of unity,” they explain.
Having just returned from their European tour, where they received positive reviews, they are excited about what’s in the pipeline for the future.
“We love what we do and for us it doesn’t matter the type of audience we are performing for. Whether we are performing here at home or globally,” Mohosana added. Petite Noir’s four-part visual album
is a sublime visual feast that tells a transitional narrative of the artist’s life, seamlessly weaving an imaged tapestry of his life from young Yannick Ilunga to global artiste Petite Noir.
The album, a passion project that has been a year in the making, is a collaborative effort between Red Bull Music and the Noirwave, made up of co-directors Tim Weyer of Iconic Agency and Rochelle Nembhard, who is also the creative director, dancer and choreographer Manthe Ribane, Gabrielle Kannemeyer as art director and Petite Noir himself, who provided the music direction.
The Namibian landscape provided the perfect backdrop for the album, which moves between the elements of fire, air, water and earth.
Borrowing from his Congolese heritage, Petite Noir said the album was his personal cosmogram.
“The Congolese cosmogram represents a constant circular motion of the element that symbolises rebirth. We all go through a rebirth every few years, and this visual album is all about rebirth.”
Nembhard said the album aims to encourage people to keep moving forward despite life’s stumbling blocks.
“The album is a pilgrimage; there is constant walking throughout the entire film.
“It’s about remembering to put one foot in front of the other because in life, the journey is infinite.”
The simple but superb costumes are made from flowing robes, each a colour palette representation of the four phases of the film. Red speaks to the Fire element, white represents air, earth is symbolised by nude/brown, and the water is blue.
View the visual album online at lamaisonnoir.com
Petite Noir has released a six-track EP, which was partially recorded at the Red Bull Music Studio in Cape Town where he has been recording since 2010.