Black Mo­tion’s set to get your mo­tor go­ing

It’s an­ces­tral African drums with su­per dance moves, writes

Pretoria News - - Good Life -

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.

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