There’s nothing more satisfying than to discover an obscure youtube video that shows a completely original take on something familiar. This is precisely the story behind the recent collection of Botswanian music “I’m Not Here to Hunt Rabbits”. Apparently, a Dutch man who had been living in Botswana since the 70s took up filming the local street musicians and posting videos of them playing instruments and singing on YouTube. The videos with their raw power and incredible showcase of non-professional musicians’ talents went viral, and now there is an album out with the Berlin-based Piranha records, of these same songs professionally recorded for our pleasure.
I’m not a musician so I can’t testify about the techniques that these musicians employ—judging by the community’s comments they are unique. But I can say that the music is simultaneously timeless and fresh, and the songs are extremely catchy. I’ve been listening to it nonstop lately—my favorites being the hoarse voice of Solly Sebotso doing the hooks on “Rampoka’ and the transcendent tenderness of the blind Annafiki Ditau’s “Re Bebedi”. And I can’t stop thinking about the multitudes, the facets of culture that remain hidden in the world’s streets away from our capitalist culture. And how even through the tools of that same culture it has become possible to experience such gems. The true opposite of alienation is possible, we just need to work towards it.
Various Artists, I’m Not Here to Hunt Rabbits
Released by Piranha Records in 2018