Kenya’s Just A Band to launch book and CD of unreleased songs

Kenya's Just A Band will hold a month-long exhibition at the Goethe-Institut in Nairobi. Dubbed Perspective, the video art exhibition opens on Friday 11 March and runs until 8 April at the Goethe-Institut. The band will also release a book to share with their fans their musical journey so far, Just A Book, along with a CD of previously unreleased material

Members of Just A Band. Photo: Paul Munene/Facebook
Members of Just A Band. Photo: Paul Munene/Facebook

Perspective, which follows their previous exhibitions TRNSMSSN and Kudishnyao!, focuses on stories told from the first-person perspective. This narrative device places the audience in the minds and emotions of a set of characters dealing with situations both real and surreal. Combining elements of infectious music, offbeat visuals, humour and social commentary, Perspective is a single-channel video installation. The projection setup is built in a dark space, designed to allow the audience to be immersed in the piece without any external distractions.

Some of the video installations include ‘Routine’, in which the main character finds himself repeatedly reliving the moments before his own death. Another piece, 'Violence', finds the character bouncing between two different realities of her relationship with a man – one full of love, the other full of hate.

The book, on the other hand, will provide an in-depth look at the band’s history, process, projects and practice. It will be available at various bookstores in Nairobi as well as the Goethe-Institut amd will come packaged with Lightspeed, a CD of the band's previously unreleased music.

Just A Band was formed when their members were studying at Kenyatta University. They went on to release the song ‘Iwinyo Piny’ accompanied by a self-made animated music video. Initially the song received little airplay due to its unconventional musical style, but with time they started to gain popularity through underground channels. Their 2008 debut album Scratch to Reveal was relatively successful, although it was only with the released of their second single 'Ha-He' in March 2010, accompanied by a music video featuring a character known as Makmende, that the band become well-known to Kenyan music fans. The video has subsequently been described as Kenya’s first viral internet meme. The band returned in 2012 with a new album, Sorry for the Delay.

 

Interestingly, Just A Band becomes the second Kenyan band in 2016 to document their history using non-musical media. On 26 February Sarabi released Music is our Weapon, a documentary film that chronicles the band's musical journey. 

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