South African band BLK JKS made a lot of noise with their 2009 debut album, After Robots, which rode in on a wave of hype -- discovered by Diplo, they were on the cover of FADER before any music had been released in the US --  but disappeared from sight in the very early 2010s. Dave Grohl coaxed them out of hibernation and a revised lineup of the band toured South Africa with Foo Fighters in 2014. In 2018 the band recorded a tribute to their hero Hugh Masekela shortly after his death with Masekela's son, Selema of Alekesam, on vocals and that ushered in a more permanent return of the group.

With new member/trumpet player Seitei in the fold, they recorded their second album, only to have their studio broken into and the hard drives with all their new recordings stolen. Undeterred, they recorded again in just three days of studio time. Their long-awaited second album, Abantu / Before Humans will be released on May 21 via We Are Busy Bodies in North America and Glitterbeat in the rest of the world.

The band are calling Abantu / Before Humans a prequel to After Robots, and in a manifesto on the album artwork the band call the album, "A complete fully translated and transcribed Obsidian Rock Audio Anthology chronicling the ancient spiritual technologies and exploits of prehistoric, post-revolutionary afro bionics and sacred texts from The Great Book On Arcanum by Supernal 5th Dimension Bound 3rd Dynasty young Kushites from Azania."

We've got the premiere of "Human Hearts," a dark and brooding number that simmers and smoulders as it goes, fueled by a driving rhythm section and mournful horns. Listen to that, and another song off the album, below.


blk jacks abantu before humans

1. Yela Oh !
2. Running — Asibaleki / Sheroes Theme
3. iQ(w)ira — Machine Learning Vol 1. 4. Mme Kelapile
5. Harare
6. Human Hearts
7. Yoyo ! — The Mandela Effect / Black Aurora Cusp Druids Ascending
8. Maiga Mali Mansa Musa
9. Mmao Wa Tseba — Nare / Indaba My Children

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