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Mystery EP

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Album Review

Pronounced Black Jacks, BLK JKS' first EP Mystery is a quick-paced, dub-heavy indie blast that mirrors the indie/Afro-pop chic of Vampire Weekend and adds the rambling psychedelia of Animal Collective. That's not to say that they're easily categorized, or even really comparable to any other bands out there, which is a big reason for the media buzz surrounding them. EPs rarely generate this much hype, but besides simply being the right sounding band at the right time, and having a cool Bad Brains look, they deserve the spotlight they're gaining on Secretly Canadian for their musicianship alone. As a four-song outing that runs just under 20 minutes, listening to the tracks on Mystery is more of an experience than one might expect. The first three songs, "Lakeside," "Mystery," and "Summertime," are incredibly tightly wound syncopations that revolve around the choppy, near-symbiotic rhythmic interaction between childhood friends Molefi Makananise (bass) and Tshepang Ramoba (drums.) Squirrelly guitar runs and chorus-flavored chords chopped by Mpumi Mcata meet wrap-around vocal lines by Lindani Buthelezi to accent the beats. These nebulous jams contain enough circular structure and memorable melodies to make them captivating dance-think pieces. "It's in Every Thing You'll See" changes gear and takes the heat off the rhythm section with a guitar and vocal space rock voyage that highlights the bubbling sonic trickery of Secret Machines' Brandon Curtis behind the boards. Mystery may not last long, but it's a strong introduction to a band with unlimited potential.


Formed: 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Founded in 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the indie rock act BLK JKS is comprised of guitarists Lindani Buthelezi and Mpumi Mcata, who grew up together in Johannesburg's East Rand, and Soweto natives Molefi Makananise (bass) and Tshepang Ramoba (drums). BLK JKS made their international recording debut in 2007 with a limited-edition 10" vinyl release of the single "Lakeside". In 2008 the band was befriended by Diplo during a DJ tour of South Africa, and after he spread some positive word about...
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Mystery EP, BLK JKS
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