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Across the Bridge presents BCUC & Bittereinde

The second Across the Bridge Session brings together the explosive talents and consciousness of BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) a Soweto based band described as “creating a place where the ancient tangles with hip-hop; where long song cycles never give way to self-indulgence; where every moment serves the performance.” (Diane Coetzer, Rolling Stone) and Bittereinder described as “a three piece Think-Dance-Machine from South Africa specialising in the world’s greatest Afrikaans electro rap.”

Both bands have their roots with the West African Griots or storytellers travelling as slaves to America and re-emerging in the black consciousness art movement of African Americans – with the likes of Gil Scott-Heron – which developed into the RAP we know today. The key thread both bands have hung onto is the power of music as a vehicle for change and their social awareness or consciousness.

Pretoria based Bittereinder have just released their brilliant new album entitled SKERM, while BCUC recently blew the (metaphorical) roof off the Rocking The Daisies festival. In their own right each band deploys massive energy onstage, so be sure to come witness the sparks fly when they combine their talents on the legendary Bassline stage in Newtown.

The Across the Bridge Sessions – represented by the Mandela Bridge linking Braamfontein and Newtown – are aimed at bridging 3 divides: The first is the physical divide that the bridge spans between the suburbs and the city of Johannesburg. Then there is the metaphorical divide between the parallel universes occupied by different communities in South Arica that Mandela sought to bridge, and which can be represented musically. The third is that of music existing in the present but with a heritage and a past. Across the Bridge Sessions aim to illustrate that connection.

The first session in June 2014 – The Birth of the Blues, from New Orleans to Newtown – brought together Pretoria based Blues rockers The Black Cat Bones and Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground fame. It traced the roots of the Blues from its birth in New Orleans and its roots in African rhythms up until the present, with a blazing collaboration at The Bassline in Newtown. The Runaway Train Cult, led by Across The Bridge Sessions musical director Dan Roberts, also joined the fray.

Across the Bridge Sessions 2:
The Birth of R.A.P (Rhythm And Poetry)
With Bittereinder and BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness)
Live at The Bassline, Johannesburg
Friday 21 November 2014 – Doors open 8pm
Tickets R120 at the door or via Webtickets or or

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Duduzile Chiloane – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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