The video for the new Basement Jaxx single, What A Difference Your Love Makes, fills me with all kinds of happiness. A story of love – from a mother, between two friends, of dance style called pantsula – plays out on the streets of Alexandra township in Joburg, South Africa. It shows off the vibrant rhythm and flow of pantsula dancers Donald Phasha and Envent Mdluli, buoyed by the love of their mother figure in the video. It’s gorgeous, smile-inducing and makes me want to watch on repeat.
Pantsula dancing – something even Beyonce has sampled in her Run The World video – has a distinct style to it, born out of the 1980s in the heart of the townships. It’s evolved over the years, from gangs to kwaito music and more, but still contains within it the need for self-expression, to show life beyond poverty, and a desire to just let it all loose on a make-shift dancefloor.
The video is directed by South African-born Damian Weilers, who also shot the impeccable video for Laura Mvula’s She, in Montagu, Cape Town, which also plays with the similar themes of youth and love. Weilers is so good at just letting the hope contained within the thoughts of a song play out in the visuals. I can’t wait to see what’s he working on next.
The single, What a Difference Your Love Makes is off Basement Jaxx’ new album, which is as yet untitled.