SHABAKA & THE ANCESTORS RELEASE SECOND SINGLE “THE COMING OF THE STRANGE ONES”
IMPULSE! DEBUT ALBUM
WE ARE SENT HERE BY HISTORY
OUT MARCH 13
21 FEBRUARY 2020 (TORONTO, ON) -- Ahead of their album release on March 13, Shabaka & The Ancestors release their second single “The Coming of the Strange Ones” with an accompanying hypnotic visualizer.
Listen to "The Coming of the Strange Ones" HERE.
Watch the visualizer HERE.
Watch "Go My Heart, Go To Heaven" HERE.
“The Coming of the Strange Ones” is one of the few instrumental tracks on the record, with a pacing groove reminiscent of Shabaka Hutchings’ soca-driven outfit Sons Of Kemet. Shabaka & the Ancestors stretches out the space for Mthunzi Mvubu to wail on the alto sax, weaving in harmony and rhythm with Shabaka’s tenor sax.
Shabaka wrote poems for each song on this record, and for this single he writes:
"The Coming of the strange ones
They who had seen war and the darkness
They who visioned the future
Speaking in tongues
Dancing in praise"
“Shabaka And the Ancestors [...] is Hutchings’ most overt attempt to express the spiritual concerns of improvisational music of the African Diaspora — specifically, SA’s rich traditional of gospel melody, community outspokenness, and jazz power — in the context of today’s world.”
We Are Sent Here By History is a record mixing African and Afro-Caribbean traditions. Recorded in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa over two years, the LP explores the function of the griot in West African culture. The griot holds the town’s stories and is the living archive of local history. Meanwhile, in Afro-Caribbean culture, the calypsonian is a different sort of griot: They weave socially conscious lyrics within upbeat party songs, reaching more people due to the music’s festive nature.
In turn, We Are Sent Here By History is a jazz-centered trip equally suited for open-air festivals and nightclubs. “This album is an attempt to further this griot tradition within a transatlantic modern-day context,” Shabaka writes in the band’s manifesto.
South African performing artist/vocalist Siyabonga wrote the album’s lyrics based on how the instrumentals made him feel; Shabaka formed a narrative and wrote poems based on lines from his lyrics. The poems are meant to be a gateway for listeners to develop their own narrative, or to think deeper about the themes presented to them by the album.
The lyrics and poems are accessible HERE.
“Ideally, everyone has a different experience according to how they respond to the poetry,” Shabaka says. “In times like these, where we’re seeing the collapse of a lot of institutions that we thought would continue for a very long time, we need to start rethinking what it means to be alive, what it means to support, what the idea of progress means.”
Shabaka Hutchings - Tenor Sax and clarinet
Mthunzi Mvubu - Alto Sax
Siyabonga Mthembu - Vocals
Ariel Zamonsky – Double bass
Gontse Makhene - Percussion
Tumi Mogorosi – Drums
Nduduzo Makhathini (Fender Rhodes), Thandi Ntuli (piano),Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet) on select tracks
- They Who Must Die
- You’ve Been Called
- Go My Heart, Go To Heaven
- Behold, The Deceiver
- Run, The Darkness Will Pass
- The Coming Of The Strange Ones
- Beasts Too Spoke of Suffering
- We Will Work (On Redefining Manhood)
- ‘Til The Freedom Comes Home
- Finally, The Man Cried
- Teach me How To Be Vulnerable
Full tour itinerary available online HERE.