More proof then, if you really need it, of the power and fortitude within new gen South African jazz. Those diligent sound searchers at We Are Busy Bodies announce ‘Azania’, the upcoming vinyl debut by iPhupho L’ka Biko, on the racks and shipping from 15th December.
Formed by bassist/composer Nhlanhla Ngqaqu in 2015 from musical relationships made around Johannesburg’s Braamfontein community, the collective has built a swelling reputation with their vibrant infusion of jazz, improv, acapella, gospel and African rhythms. A dynamic live show, refined and refreshed over the years of gigging, has only added to the growing buzz around the band in their home country.
They first shook up attention further afield in 2021 when their gorgeous ‘Abaphezulu’ featured on Brownswood’s happening South African jazz compilation ‘‘Indaba Is’. The spiritual lift of ‘uThixo uKhona’ followed as a single and now comes their most focused statement to date with the ‘Azania’ EP.
The warm soul shuffle of ‘Braam Streets’, all soothing electric piano strokes and the melodic huddle of horns previews the release, a heartfelt reaching out from their district. It’s a gentle, open welcome to ‘Azania’, a record which also includes a version of ‘uThixo uKhona’,in all its swaying, gospel calling glory, plus a clutch of equally elevating tunes. As leader Nhlanhla Ngqaqu puts it “Azania the EP is an introduction of iPhupho L’ka Biko to the world, marking the beginning of a new era.” Being there with them is a must.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Azania’ by iPhupho L’ka Biko from We Are Busy Bodies HERE