The Brother Moves On – Shiyanomayini

The Brother Moves On are one of the most exciting bands I’ve come across in the past few years and I’ve wanted to catch them live since their agent introduced me to them. Thankfully whilst scoping out info on their new release, I found out they are playing in London at the start of December. In fact I’ve just booked a ticket for their show at Birthdays (Dalston) on December 6th but they are also playing in Peckham the following day.

I’ve posted about them previously when their 2013 debut album first came out. I was rather amused at the message from Bandcamp a few weeks after purchasing that said “congratulations you bought this album before Gilles Peterson” especially as he’d bought it on my recommendation. I wonder if any other tastemakers get similar props from Bandcamp.

I still don’t know exactly how to describe them to people, if I try then it usually has Jazz in the description and their home town of Johannesburg, but this doesn’t really come close. To be honest I rather like their own descriptive genres, “Electronique Maskandi, Ninja Gospel and Afrikan Voodoo Pop“.

Here’s a description of the Shiyanomayini video from the band:

Shiyanomayini means leave whatever you have, its said by beggars when they beg at the traffic light and by criminals when they are robbing you be it at gunpoint or knifepoint. The majority of the track was written by Zelizwe Mthembu after being robbed several times on his way back from rehearsal as he passes the Jozi CBD on his way home.

The first verse of the track takes the position of Zwash being robbed at 6 o’clock at park station. The voice of the second voice is perspective of the kasi cat who is sick of suburb boys flossing in the hood with their cash + new rich cars. The third verse is taken from the perspective of Ma’leven who was featured on BBC’s Weird Weekends who is a ruthless criminal who puts babies in ovens to force people to open their safes during housebreakings. The last verse is that of an elder, in the video the taxi driver, who asks what are we to do with this situation. We’ve all been mugged and this is a chant from the perspective of the victimhood that this situation makes us feel. The song also places the criminal + the beggar into the same space and asks the welfare state what are we to do.

This video is from their latest release and the first single from their new album Black Tax. The album will be released in 10 segments over a 9 month birth cycle. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get to hear the whole album today as I’d expected, but I love the concept and I feel that finally hearing it in it’s entirety after the birth, will be fully worth the wait. Plus to keep us happy until then, they also uploaded a mastered version of their first release, The Golden Wake. It’s a 6-track live EP which tells a fictional tale of a young South African villager named Mr. Gold. It was originally released in 2012. Here’s the opening from that but of course it’s better heard in it’s entirety.

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