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After Robots

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (184 ratings)
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After Robots album cover
01
Molalatladi
3:46
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02
Banna Ba Modimo
5:11
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03
Standby
4:52
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04
Lakeside
4:08
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05
Taxidermy
3:48
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06
Kwa Nqingetje
7:58
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07
Skeleton
4:39
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08
Cursor
5:19
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09
Tselane
6:33
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 9   Total Length: 46:14

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Wondering Sound

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Caitlin Dewey

Contributor

kt

09.08.09
Globe-tripping genre fusionists rewrite continental borders on ingenious debut
Label: Secretly Canadian / SC Dist.

Despite the recent slew of cheeky American Afro-pop bands attempting to convince you otherwise, African music and indie rock don't make for the most natural of bedfellows. That angle seems to account for roughly half the hype behind Johannesburg art rock up-and-comers BLK JKS. On their debut full-length, BLK JKS come off like globe-tripping genre fusionists, rewriting continental borders and crafting one of the year’s most ingenious albums in the process.

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Great music

EMUSIC-1967

Music has nothing to do with race...or colour of ones skin. Hey if you don't like it don't download it. Need not bash someone. #6-9 are my favorites. Check out their other albums on eMusic. They also played live at the World Cup opening!

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Great Music - Duplicate Song

msigmond

I am thrilled to have another cross-genre band proving that music does not have to be segregated! Love every track so far, though I've only listened to the samples. One warning: if you are trying to collect all the BLK JKS at eMusic, the album Mystery contains the track Lakeside that also appears here (though of different length). The fact that I recognized it from the samples based on a song I downloaded 6 months ago is a testament to their ability to create compelling sound.

user avatar

Over-rated Crap: horrible vocals & by-the-books

EMUSIC-01E8EAC5

I first learned about BLK JKS through their first limited vinyl release which is quite mind-blowing & OOP. How did that masterpiece lead to such a gad-awful debut? Must we hype a band because their black dudes from Africa making American-style Indie Rock? I turned this record on at my work, I live in Portland- people are Very leniant here w/ music. I got 4 complaints enough to turn it off and take it off rotation. The guitars and drums are absolutely nothing to brag about. And the vocals are the worst I've heard since Smashing Pumpkins. It's so funny that millions of non-black singers wish they had a little bit of soul. But don't matter if you're black, as BLK JKS make that clear.

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Wonderful!

DigMe

This album was a really nice surprise. A refreshing mix of various genres and sounds. Great bass playing and tone. I'm looking forward to listening to it some more.

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Many tracks an awful lot like TV on the Radio

EMUSIC-00BB402D

They tour through familiar territory to fans of alt rock and south african music, which can be an interesting juxtoposition. This is not a novel concept, but it is well done. They seem primed for global success in this well produced album.

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Not giving a review of an artist you like...

2perishable

...because you have a bone to pick with emusic? What's up with that? If you really like this band dig into your pocket and buy it from your local JoMart and then write a positive review of THEIR MUSIC not about emusic.

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After Robots

Optical-Sewer

Each time I listen, this disc sounds different and refreshed. Fantastic.

user avatar

Decent sound

EMUSIC-01FE0143

Not the kind of music I'm into but it's produced really well. Sounds like a mix of reggae meets pink floyd to me. Couldn't understand most of what he is saying though (probably because I don't speak the language he uses).

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Thanks For Nothing

warrenvanrensburg

Funny how a South African band that is changing the face of music around the world, is not available for download in South Africa. Thanks for nothing emusic.

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Not the same old

speener

BLK JKS deftly mix indie rock, alt-rock and African sounds into something cool and different. So many albums these days sound like retreads of something else. BLK JKS has their own thing going on and clearly it's one of the bests of 2009.

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eMusic Features

0

Who Are…BLK JKS

By Caitlin Dewey, Contributor

BLK JKS are a five-piece band — if you count "the spirit," that is. The rowdy South African art rockers credit that mysterious spirit — plus ghosts, charlatans and Johannesburg street culture — with all the chaos and revelry on their debut full-length, After Robots. Considering the unlikely path that BLK JKS took to fame, and the difficulty of making it as a band in South Africa in general, it's no wonder they credit higher… more »

They Say All Music Guide

The ’80s had Graceland, the ’90s had Rusted Root, and the new millennium had Vampire Weekend, so at this point it should be no surprise when North American pop music embraces South African sensibilities. However, with BLK JKS’ highly hyped debut, Afro-pop is presented in a different light. Instead of being a U.S.-minded album created with the help of African musicians, it’s one created by African musicians. Instead of being a watered-down white take on tribal beats, it’s a reversal: Africans staking their claim on indie rock. In a traditional four-piece lineup (with all members sharing vocal duties), lead guitarist Lindani Buthelezi, rhythm guitarist Mpumi Mcata, bassist Molefi Makananise, and drummer Tshepang Ramoba bounce polyrhythms off one another while pulling aspects from all types of rock influences: especially indie rock, psychedelic rock, and prog rock. Like Mars Volta and TV on the Radio, BLK JKS’ songs are made up of shifting soundcapes rather than a linear progression. More often than not, these reverberated parts (enhanced by producer Brandon Curtis) whirlwind away into a free-form jam full of horn blasts provided by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble or circular Santana-esque guitar runs. Each member of the Johannesburg group supplies enough adventurousness and prowess on his respective instrument to satisfy hipsters and hippies alike. BLK JKS’ Mystery EP from six months earlier acted as a calling card designed to show off their musical abilities, but it only scratched the surface. In just nine songs, so much ground is covered on After Robots that it barely seems like one unified album. Sung in their native tongue, the acoustic-based “Tsalene” could fit into the world section of your local music store, “Standby” imitates a Brit-rock ballad (think Elbow), while the aggressive syncopated pluck of “Lakeside” (also available on the EP, in a slightly different version) remains their most defining song. But why try to define them? They fit into the indie rock genre about as loosely as Bad Brains fit the hardcore punk stereotype or Living Colour fit in the hair metal mold. Who cares? Pigeonholing is futile, the music is boundless. – Jason Lymangrover

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