BLK JKS VIBES ROCK BEYOND borders

Fans listen to the sounds of the BLK JKS performing at Buccaneers Pub and Grill yesterday evening. The Johannesburg group has signed with a US record label. Pic : ALAN EASON. 18/02/2009. © Daily Dispatch.
Fans listen to the sounds of the BLK JKS performing at Buccaneers Pub and Grill yesterday evening. The Johannesburg group has signed with a US record label. Pic : ALAN EASON. 18/02/2009. © Daily Dispatch.

THEY have been around for sometime, yet it took a Canadian recording deal to put them on the world map, and to make us notice them back home.

THEY have been around for sometime, yet it took a Canadian recording deal to put them on the world map, and to make us notice them back home.

These are the BLK JKS, whose album After Robots put them on the international map last year and attracted good publicity abroad.

Unfortunately, at home they remain on the periphery of public attention and scrutiny.

Molefi Makanise, Tshepang Ramoba, Mpumi Mcata and Lindani Buthelezi are exponents of a genre that is a mix of rock music, African drums and guitar, making them a unique group whose sounds have found favour with the international community.

"Our album was released by the record label Secretly Canadian late last year, and was launched both in the US and distributed to the rest of the world to much acclaim. It was quite interesting how we got the international community talk about our music because the reality is our music is alternative and actually is not pop music.

"We play rock music and the kind of crowd we attract are quite distinct, often club type of a crowd, and that is why we play most in clubs," Buthelezisaid.

"The truth is our sound attracts both white and black people, ordinary and those wearing suits, and we see this at the clubs where we perform," Ramoba said.

"This is a unique market that we want to keep, and this market is quite loyal because they are the sort that will go out and buy music if they feel it connects with them."

BLK JKS will perform at the Bohemian in Auckland Park this Thursday, Belavista on Friday and at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on April 3 and 4.

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