Sons Of Kemet: In The Castle Of My Skin

It’s not every day that a music video for an instrumental jazz track fills me with so many positive emotions. Come to think of it, this might very well be the first instrumental jazz music video I’ve ever watched on purpose in my life. Which makes it that much easier to declare that this brilliantly conceived video for award-winning UK jazz group Sons of Kemet is one of the best I’ve ever seen in this category. And it was directed by the ascendant young South African filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba, with the help of Motheo Moeng behind the camera and Xolelwa ‘Ollie’ Nhlabatsi in the editing suite.

Shot in Tembisa, the music video features the Indigenous Dance Academy’s pantsula dancers as a black-tie orchestra, conducted by choreographer Jarrel Mathebula. It’s a study in contrasts: a convergence of the chaotic energy of pantsula with the controlled sophistication of an orchestra.

“Pantsula and jazz aren’t things that people were ever meant to see together; they both have rich histories with very different cultural and aesthetic values,” says Lebo. “But framing ideas within a different context can give them new life.”

It has to be said that the song is damn infectious – certainly enough to spur on some deeper investigation into the Sons of Kemet discography. But what Lebogang has managed to do is create an equally catchy visual counterpart, with a straightforward but well-considered and brilliantly executed concept. Authentic and entertaining. I could watch this all day. In fact, it’s a little slow at the office today so that might be exactly what I do.

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