Music

afropunk premiere: ‘revolution in dub’ (dj madd remix) – congo natty’s new track and video, from his upcoming ‘jungle revolution in dub’ album

October 20, 2015

I remember when Stephen Lawrence got stabbed. A few weeks ago my little brother – he is 12- showed me the “Hands up! Don’t shoot” sign. He explained to me that it means, “Don’t shoot” and that the police “will still shoot you anyway”. 52 years ago, 1963 James Baldwin writes in Fire Next Time, to his Nephew, what it is to be a black man in America. In January 2014, I had to explain to my brother why the police thought that killing Mark Duggan was lawful. In April 2014 I perform Gift to my little brother- a piece explaining to my little brother what he will be stepping into as a Black man in London- post race, and that I love him. These are not jokes. It is not every time I sit down to write a feature that I do so with a heavy heart and a pensive gaze. I have wanted to write for AFROPUNK to contribute to the global commentary of the Black experience from a British perspective. Today when I think about that experience- I feel a lot of pain, pain that over the last few years I have felt and witnessed what it is to be Black at the hands of the state and its minions the police. It is not often when you sit to write a review that you need to put in historical perspective the relationship born of violence between black people and the police, but this is what the Dub legend Congo Natty wants us to do.

By Zinzi Minott, AFROPUNK Contributor 

 

‘Jungle Revolution in Dub’ is a rework of Congo Natty’s ‘Jungle Revolution’ LP, and it’s out 13th November on Big DadaCongo Natty has drawn on dub-soldiers new and old, UK-based and beyond, for this project. Digidub legends Dubkasm and the one and only Adrian Sherwood rub shoulders with Glasgow’s Mungos HiFi and Hungary’s DJ Madd, with the likes of Conscious Sounds, Vibronics and Jinx in Dub all bringing their own unique flavours. Meanwhile bass music stalwarts like King Yoof and Sukh Knight sit alongside a new generation of dubstronauts, Hylu & Jago taking their place with the scions of UK dub royalty, Joe Ariwa (Mad Professor’s son) and Young Warrior (Jah Shaka’s son!). 

.

.

The original video has been updated. The director, Ryan Warner at Lemonade Money says “This time our intentions where to bring it up to date with the stories we chose to involve in the video, the current relationship between the public and the police force”. 

If you know the original video then you will know that it is full of imagery that will cause any living soul to cry out for a revolution. When one views the update you can almost hear the echo of those cry’s like the reverb at a dub rave, and it moves you. Like the bass does. Congo Natty says“ Sometimes I would not move from those speakers for hours. The bass would vibrate through my whole body.”

 

The video opens with a painful reminder- pictures of Black men, women, boys and girls who no longer live because they are just that. Gill Scott Heron then lets us know, exactly why “The Revolution will not be televised” and by this point, if you are not willing to join the revolution, or sharply reminded why you are already part of it, then I am not quite sure who you are mate.

 

There are countless shots of the solidarity of communities, who stood and still stand together in defiance of the police, and they are cut with the images of peoples last moments. It is a hard watch- but watching death should never be easy.

.

By the time I hear “ I can’t breath” the last words of Eric Garner, I am sick. The song go’s on and Congo Natty reminds me that I am stepping out of Babylon, and I remember why I will write these articles, and why I will stand in the cold with strangers and scream until my voice has gone, why I make the art I make, because I want to step out of Babylon.

 .

Being an activist, and an artist is tiring – being a human is too. I feel this rework has come at a time when the cumulative weight of what this world is doing to people is heavy on my shoulders, and one can feel helpless.

 

This video is not just a rework, it is a reminder, there is still work to do, do not get comfortable and do not complain.

.

I stand in solidarity with us all, they are coming for us all, and we must remember each other. As I write this I think of how much police violence there is and how many people I need to stand with, so much so I risk the end of this article becoming a stream of death soaked shout -outs. NO.

 

Suffice to say this- I am the daughter of slaves and immigrants, a black queer woman, who makes art and noise. I am all of this and none. And I’ll stand with you, and I think Congo Natty and the rest of the crew in the will too. So watch the video, get your reminder, and then get back to work. Because the revolution won’t be televised, and I doubt I’ll be writing about it either.

 

With much love,


Zinzi


* Zinzi Minott is a Dancer, she writes sometimes too. Her work is centred on politics, race, gender and dance, and how Black and POC communities use dance as a resistive too, and a means of discussing their subjectivity.

Her latest works ’30 Skanks’ discusses the ways in which the Black British community have utilised Reggae and dance as a mode of political freedom and resistance. Gift to my little brother, is a piece dedicated to her brother Omar, and all other brothers, it considers blackness and race in a post racial society after the riots in the UK following the death of Mark Duggan. She is currently part of “The Rebel Man Standard”, a group of people looking at the relationship between dance and politics. Her current modes of investigation are repetition, duration and exhaustion. She is based in London. 

Photo credit: Fabrice Bourgelle / Ninja Tune

Related