Last year, Kasai Allstars released Black Ants Always Fly Together, One Bangle Makes No Sound, reinvigorating the Congotronics series with an innovative emphasis on local sounds. An album of remixes was quick to follow, joining the Kinshasa-based collective to top-tier producers worldwide, from Deerhoof to Ekiti Sound.
Now, Kasai Allstars give new visual life to Khalab’s remix of “The Large Bird, the Woman and the Baby” with an electric new video directed by Ema Wanet in which the Allstars’ constant beats, gorgeous scenery shots, and Khalab’s Afrofuturist beats come together at top speed. Singer Muambuyi remains the track’s piercing emotional core, telling the story of a woman who finds a large bird singing over and soothing her child. The encounter nearly turns devastating when she disobeys the creature, leading it to take her child until she successfully begs forgiveness.
“I felt Khalab’s production to be very evocative of the song’s atmosphere,” says guitarist and Black Ants producer Mopero Mupemba. “It’s as if he had added bird cries, zombie cries, the sound of water and the forest.”
From those vivid new sounds emerged a full vision. Mupemba cast Muambuyi in the role of the mother and added band member Kabongo Tshisense and friends Buoy Kiteku and Kapiamba in roles Mupemba describes as “supernatural beings running wild in the woods”. Over the course of the video, the urgency is palpable. Muambuyi cries out amid thick brush and open fields, with dizzying shots of wildlife, water, and dancing beings (the aforementioned zombies and dancer Yuyu) moving with glitchy brilliance along with the song’s rapidfire rhythms.
Breathtaking landscape shots make the video all the more enchanting. “We shot the video near Maluku, around 120 kilometers from Kinshasa,” explains Mupemba. “The drone shots show the Nsele River.” Wide shots and close-ups reveal birds, waterfalls, trees, and city lights, offering a multidimensional portrait of the story’s setting beneath the layers of constant sound.
Khalab’s remix of “The Large Bird, the Woman and the Baby” brings fresh intensity to an already energetic group. This otherworldly video for the piece delivers even more multisensory magic.
Black Ants Remixes is out now on Crammed Discs.