It must be really gratifying for the members of Just A Band (Jim, Dan and Blink) to have been embraced to such a degree by Kenyan music fans. I mean, no matter how much international recognition you receive you kinda want some home support, too.
Back in 2006 when the House/Electro/Funk/Hip-hop/Disco group, torchbearers for the Kenyan dance scene and general jack-of-all-creative trades released the single Iwinyo Piny (below), the initial response in Kenya was markedly different to the reception to what they put out these days. Back then their sound was seen as very unconventional and they got little airplay.
But that's the story of most pioneers, and these guys clearly knew what they were doing so they kept at it, building an audience that was better prepared for Scratch to Reveal, their critically acclaimed debut album, in 2008.
However, it was 82, their sophomore effort, that really created their mass following, cemented their reputation for innovation and took them global, thanks in no small part to the blaxploitation movie-inspired video for Ha-He. It was Kenya's first viral vid, so no doubt you've seen it. The video for Usinibore, the first single from that album, was pretty funky, too.
Fast forward to 2011 and everyone takes their wide creative bandwidth and prolific output for granted: animation, video installation in New York, it's all good. It's Just A Band.
Anyway, it's been a while since 82, but the music on that album remains as fresh as the day it was released, so no reason not to shoot a video for one of the tracks from that album, particularly if the challenge to do so is sufficiently interesting. Which is what happened when a couple of Norwegian film students/directors came up with the following constraints:
1. It has to tell a story
2. Everyone in the band has to be in it.
3. You get only one cut per minute.
4. Every cut has to have a movie reference.
5. It has to be done in 14 days.
That's fighting talk to any creative, and here's the result for the track Huff + Puff:
Film buffs, spot your references.
The video will be part of the film students' documentary The Big C — curious to see the full thing, aren't you? — and Just A Band announced last month that they're in the studio working on their next album, so good news all round.