Looking Forward: Chimurenga Renaissance

by tigermanifesto


Quivver and Alexius are sipping/lapping red wine on the porch. Springtime is coming, and the snow has finally bowed out, rain coming down to replace it. Eventually, all traces of the silver world will be erased, and the early brown, ramshackle spring days will start. 

Alexius: What was the last leg of the tour again? Mars?

Quivver: Yeah, we managed to get a show on the Red Planet. Sponsored by NASA and everything. Would have been a huge endorsement in the 1960s, but hey. It’s work. Not like it means anything to us right now. Since we got free of our confinement in hell, we’ve been on a stellar trajectory.

Alexius: Takes a lot longer to get from here to Alpha Centauri than Mars.

Quivver: Yeah, but we’d have so much time just to chill out and play tunes, you know? I’d have days and weeks just to work on my beats. Quake could bring his keys along, and we’d jam until…well, there would be no day and night, so all the time.

Alexius: I doubt there’d be enough music to last the whole centuries-long trip.

Quivver: Not if we took all our equipment. By the time we made it to Alpha Centauri, we’d have forgotten who we were when we made the first songs. At that point, we could just listen to that. One of the benefits of being creative with almost infinite time to create on cheap equipment.

Alexius: And I suppose you’d just invent new instruments if you got bored enough.

Quivver: Speaking of being bored and having a lot of time on your hands, you know there are over 200 posts on this blog, right?

Alexius: Yes, though I didn’t want to make too much of a fuss about it.

Quivver shakes her head. Alexius puts his head on her lap and she strokes his ears.

Quivver: You know what this moment needs?

Alexius: (I know what she’s going to say.) What?

Music, of course.

Chimurenga Renaissance includes Palaceer Lazaro, whose album Black Up–recorded as Shabazz Palaces–was one of the very first reviews I posted here. The other member of the group is Baba Maraire, who takes the centre stage in this act. He carries most of the raps and brings his experience in Zimbabwean music to this unique group, whose first LP, riZe vadZimu riZe, is due out on the 25th of this month.

So far, the group has only released a single track from the new album, “The B.A.D. Is So Good,” which is posted above. I would also recommend looking at the group’s website, which explains the origins of the group’s name and its connection to anti-imperialist struggle in Zimbabwe.

From the site:

True, the economic situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated considerably since the end of the 80s and the implementation of Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and reinforced by the Washington Consensus3– Zimbabwe should never have opened its fragile, war-torn economy to the world market and cut government spending, but instead committed to targeted internal development and the very same industrial policies that advanced countries like the United States technologically4. Nevertheless, despite how things have turned out so far, despite the setbacks, despite the economic challenges, our ancestors were not wrong to challenge Cecil Rhodes and European imperialism. They were morally in the right, and anyone who is politically and spiritually aligned with them is also in the right. Many have betrayed this spirit of rebellion, but this does not mean our ancestors were wrong to fight for their rights5 and land6. Indeed, Maraire’s fiery rap track “Boom”7 is all about his fidelity to the political project initiated by his ancestors, the project of establishing once and for all black justice and independence.

Given who is involved and the abundance of passion and skill poured into this project, I am anticipating great things.

Thank you for sticking with me and my editor through over 200 posts. I never though I would reach nearly as many people as I have. I remember feeling giddy when my friends and fellow students would read it. For now, this is Alexius the tiger letting you know that plenty more is coming to this site. I’m hoping to make it far beyond the next 200 posts.