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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

After Robots , 6.5/10
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South African band BLK JKS (guitarist Lindani Buthelezi, rhythm guitarist Mpumi Mcata, bassist Molefi Makananise and drummer Tshepang Ramoba) debuted with the EP Mystery (Secretly Canadian, 2009), containing the first version of Lakeside, and the album After Robots (Secretly Canadian, 2009) that represented the most significant breakthrough in world-music since Paul Simon's Graceland, a fusion of dub, blues, funk, jazz, mbaqanga, acid-rock with the attitude of progressive-rock. The polyrhythmic chaotic dance of Molalatladi is ripped apart by a petulant guitar solo worthy of hard-rock. The frolicking reggae ditty Skeleton is a close second in the hedonistic sphere. Another relatively straightforward piece is Cursor, a melodic lullaby with flamenco-like guitar; and Banna Ba Modim straddles the border between festive fanfare and soul ballad. However, the delirious chant and the forceful drumming in Lakeside create a spasmodic energy, and that's where the band's originality lies. The eight-minute Kwa Nqingetje fluctuates between surrealistic electronic poem, mellow psychedelic litany and bursts of heavy-metal virulence. The album reimagines a spectrum of styles that had become a dogma, and the players display a consistently original take on their instrument's tradition. This is a work of glaring aesthetic misunderstandings. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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