Bateleur is a 6-piece instrumental band based in Cape Town, South Africa. Formed in 2009, they have worked tirelessly at crafting their distinct sound and musical character. Bateleur’s identity lies in their endeavor both to evoke emotion in the listener – to feel – and to create something that challenges the listener. By doing so, this necessarily prompts the listener to attend to the music, encouraging one to actively engage with it. Bateleur is dedicated to artistic integrity of pushing musical boundaries and expanding the conceptions of engaging with music. Bateleur’s entire process is democratic and the band’s musical expression functions as a collective where the focus is on the practice of artistic creation, itself, rather than merely the final product. The collective song writing process results in music with an eclectic mix of experimentation with harmony, melody and challenging song structures, while never failing to appreciate the direct emotional impact of a well-placed hook. Bateleur believes in the sincerity and precision in music and ultimately aims at facilitating the listener’s immersion in the experience of listening to music.
Bateleur has released two EPs, the first being the free digital release Mountain EP in 2010 and its follow up Cargo Cults in 2012. Cargo Cults garnered a large amount of online media attention due to its unique release method. It was a collaborative project between the band and five visual artists each of whom produced art for four unique limited edition LP-sized made from indigenous South African wood which included a flash disc embedded within it containing the music itself. After a period where the public could compete in an online auction to own the, the band released their EP for download through Bandcamp. The release also included a B-Side of five remixes from various Cape Town based electronic producers, namely: Christian Tiger School, Oxblood, Fun Toy, Oltak, and Rub Rubb Rubbb.
Bateleur has played a number of music festivals and tours within as well as outside of South Africa. Festivals performed at include Rocking The Daisies, Splashy Fen, Flamjangled Tea Party, World music festival, Sowing the Seeds, AZGO (Mocambique) as well as the Malawian international festival Lake of stars in which they shared the stage with the likes of Foals, The Very Best, and Biao (of Vampire Weekend). This outing also garnered them a mention in NME.