Monday, September 7, 2009




“Fiery guitars, dark jams: Africa’s best new band.”—Rolling Stone

“African electric rock, unconcerned with boundaries.”—New York Times

BLK JKS’ highly anticipated full-length debut After Robots will be released September 8 on Secretly Canadian. Pre-order for the release, which is available now via Secretly Canadian mail order and at participating stores, includes a poster and a free digital download of the MYSTERY remix 12” tracks (please see link below). BLK JKS, whose recent concert is described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most explosive and genuinely thrilling shows L.A. has seen in a very long time,” will embark on a national tour in support of After Robots. (Please see below for a schedule of confirmed performances; more dates will be announced shortly.)

Exclusive first listen of the song “Banna Ba Modimo” is available at

Following the March release of their MYSTERY EP and return appearance at South by Southwest, South Africa’s BLK JKS are receiving critical praise from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, SPIN, The New Yorker, Washington Post, LA Weekly, Time Out New York, New York Daily News and Under the Radar, among others. Amidst all this critical praise the essence of BLK JKS’ music—a collision of township blues, fringe jazz and renegade dub, heard via the lens of prog—shines through. Music from Africa has never sounded like this, as BLK JKS bring the concept of afro-futurism into a new century.

After Robots was recorded January in Bloomington, IN as BLK JKS traded a South African summer for winter in America and burrowed in for marathon recording sessions of one live take after the next. Brandon Curtis of Secret Machines returned to join the band at the controls and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble appears on several tracks with the swagger of aggressive horn stabs, but throughout After Robots is an original BLK JKS affair—a distinctly South African vision of rock’s global travel and the possibility of what it can sound like from here on out.

BLK JKS first came to the U.S. in the spring of 2008 after a chance meeting with über-producer Diplo while he was on tour in South Africa. The band’s appearance on the cover of the Fader, as well as highly acclaimed sets at South by Southwest, sparked recording sessions at New York’s famed Electric Lady studios that resulted in the MYSTERY EP. They have gone on to share stages in North America and Europe with a celebrated and disparate array of artists including Femi Kuti, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, Michael Franti and Cody Chesnutt; they have played Sasquatch and Soweto Arts Festival; and drummer Tshepang Ramoba has been celebrated by Billboard as “the best musician” at SXSW.

BLK JKS consists of childhood friends Lindani Buthelezi and Mpumi Mcata who grew up on the same block in Johannesburg’s East Rand where they taught themselves guitar. After the band’s current lineup took shape with the addition of bassist Molefi Makananise and drummer Tshepang Ramoba, both of Soweto, they embarked on a schedule of heavy touring throughout South Africa that earned them a loyal national following.

Pre-order link:

BLK JKS Tour Dates

September 8 New York, NY S.O.B.’s

September 18 Urbana, IL The Canopy Club—Pygmalion Festival

September 19 Madison, WI The Stage Door—Forward Music Festival

September 20 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge

September 21 Chicago, IL The Hideout

September 22 Pontiac, MI The Pike Room

September 24 Minneapolis, MN Global Roots Festival

September 26 Bloomington, IN Lotus Festival

September 29 Washington, D.C. Black Cat

October 1 Annandale on Hudson, NY Smog

October 4 Cambridge, MA TT the Bear’s Place

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