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The Brother Moves On – $/He Who Feeds You…Owns You

Out 28/10/22


“The work is first a monument to heal us, a vessel of healing. We’re a space of communion. We’re a church” Siyabonga Mthembu 


Internationally-acclaimed outfit The Brother Moves On (TBMO) are part of a musical underground that connects London and their home city of Johannesburg. They exist in a powerful lineage of protest music and in the role that sound and music has in combating and soaking up the everyday struggles of life. They were described as ‘the most important band in the country’ by online publication Platform and ‘the last remaining protest band’ by saxophonist Steve Dyer, who assisted in the recording of the 2021 Gilles-Peterson released  Indaba Is – which TBMO frontman Siyabonga co-produced with pianist Thandi Ntuli.


Their first gig in London, in 2014, was supporting The Comet is Coming at the storied Total Refreshment Centre and Yussef Kamaal opened for them the following year at a sold out gig at Bussey Building in Peckham. TBMO front person Siyabonga Mthembu got a sense of how they were being received back then by standing in the queue outside the gig. “I wanted to hear what people were saying. This young lady says ‘have you heard them? They sound like a night in Johannesburg.’ I was like ‘wow, that is dope’.”


Fast forward and word has been spreading beyond the two cities. The Brother Moves On’s exceptional 2021 album Tolika Mtoliki rebirthed classic South African music and messages into a stunning collection that made Apple Music’s Top Releases list of that year. Mthembu is also part of the critically-acclaimed Shabaka And The Ancestors and now, $/He Who Feeds You… Owns You is being released on Shabaka Hutchings’ Native Rebel label.


The album title comes from a speech by pan-African revolutionary Thomas Sankara to the Organisation of African Unity. “It takes his words into this time. It has a lot to do with food sovereignty and land – whoever feeds you, whoever owns your food system runs you.”


UMC - NRR0005

The Brother Moves On – $/He Who Feeds You…Owns You

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