Devilishly strong Bugandan techno psychedelia from Uganda/UK's Nihiloxica on their 2nd release for Nyege Nyege Tapes. Huge tip if yr into Shackleton, Mark Ernestus Ndagga Rhythm Force, Konono No.1, Ninos Du Brasil...
Where Nihiloxica’s first tape saw the Nilotika Cultural Ensemble percussionists and UK’s Jacob Maskell-Key and Pete Jones tentatively find their feet in a nascent mix of Bugandan drumming and raw electronics, this follow-up throws down four muscular tracks recorded live in single takes, demonstrating their skills toughened up by countless shows on road over the past 12 months and more; from Nyege Nyege Tapes amazing annual festival and clubs in Kampala, thru to stacks of European venues.
In the four burningly intense tracks of ‘Biiri’, the group’s cross-cultural dialogue becomes more fluid, urgent as a direct effect of their increased intuition. The results vividly feel like a natural evolution of their first release, with their keener focus on the loping undulations of the Baksimba (bass drum) groove and the plasmic mutability of Pete Jones’ synths rendering the full force of ancient tradition in a vividly unprecedented style.
While many pay service to the idea of a cosmic African music, ‘Biiri’ delivers it with effortless verve, coming off like Can and Bruce Haack’s wildest dreams with ‘Diggi Dagga’, then like Autechre meeting Shackleton in the swingeing, asymmetric rug-cutter ‘Baksimba’, before the thumping ‘Dubugwanjuba’ recalls a cross-continental echo of Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force, and ‘Ding Ding’ utterly finishes off your dancing bones with raucous, red-lining distortion.
This is Clipping’s transmutation of horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist sub-genre that flourished in the mid-90s.
"If some of its most notable pioneers included Brotha Lynch Hung and Gravediggaz, it also encompasses seminal works from the Geto Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the near-entirety of classic Memphis cassette tape rap. The most subversive and experimental rap has often presented itself as an “alternative” to conventional sounds, but Clipping respectfully warp them into new constellations. There Existed an Addiction to Blood absorbs the hyper-violent horror tropes of the Murder Dog era, but re-imagines them in a new light: still darkly-tinted and somber, but in a weirder and more vivid hue. The album contains interludes with hissing recordings of demonic invasions, and guest appearances from Griselda Gang’s Benny the Butcher and Hypnotize Minds horror queen La Chat.
Other tracks feature contributions from noise music legends The Rita and Pedestrian Deposit. It all ends with “Piano Burning,” a performance of a piece written by the avant-garde composer Annea Lockwood. Yes, it is the sound of a piano burning. There Existed an Addiction to Blood fits neatly into the broader scope of the band’s career, which has seen them expand from insular experimentalists into globally recognized artists. Since the release of their first album in 2013, Diggs has won a Tony and a Grammy (both for his acting/rapping work as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in Hamilton), as well as co-written and starred in 2018’s critically hailed Blindspotting, while Snipes and Hutson have scored numerous films and television shows. Clipping’s last album, the 2016 afro-futurist dystopian space opus Splendor & Misery was recently named one of Pitchfork’s Best Industrial Albums of All-Time.
Commissioned for an episode of This American Life, their 2017 single “The Deep” became the inspiration for a novel of the same name, written by Rivers Solomon and published by Saga Press. But their latest masterwork embodies what the band had been building towards — a work that finds them without peer. This is experimental hip-hop built to bang in a post-apocalyptic club bursting with radiation. It’s horrorcore that soaks up past blood and replants it into a different organism, undead but dangerously alive. It is a new sun, blindingly bright and built to burn your retinas."
Ivan Seal’s paintings have accompanied almost all of James Leyland Kirby’s output as The Caretaker over the last two decades. This comprehensive book, made to coincide with a long-in-the-making exhibition in Clermont Ferrand, France, provides a beautiful, in-depth look at their work together through 160 pages of artwork, essays and commentary from both Ivan Seal and The Caretaker, a luxurious and weighty hardcover tome marking the end of an era.
Featuring art made for The Caretaker, as well as many previously unseen paintings, the book provides closure to a project that came to an end last month with the sixth and final part of the 'Everywhere At The End Of Time' series. As most of The Caretaker’s music over the years has been released without text or even track titles included in the artwork, this is the first time there has been any written commentary provided by either artist for their work together.
Alongside an included 17 track CD of previously unreleased material from The Caretaker, 'Everywhere, An Empty Bliss’ is a beautiful final document from one of the most ambitious and longstanding projects in contemporary music, one that we’re sure will only grow in stature as time goes by.
Fresh from his highlight of Svbkvlt’s ‘Cache 01’ comp, Gooooose drops a killer flux of IDM/jungle/New beats in their 2nd album proper, backed with remixes by Sote, Sam Kerridge, and Nahash
Brilliantly following his nose along ribboning routes of rhythmic investigation, Gooooose plays on a sweet spot between the sort of frenetic late ‘90s/early ‘00s breaksploitation of V. Snares, AFX of Hrvatski, and the kind of clipped, hypermodern computer music you’d expect to find on FLUF or from Co La.
Their seven original cuts buckle and warp with an infectious tension between looseness and precision, serving dancers with myriad options for interpretation in each cut, from the hyper-jungle vortices of ‘Plasma Sunrise’ and ‘Integer’ at the front, thru to more rotted drums and Plaid-like melody in ‘Rusted Silicon’, and onto Jlin-esque balletic proprioceptions in ‘Resort’ and the dextrous tribalism of ‘Along The Synthetic River’, while allowing for more enigmatic space in the mix with ‘Uncanny’, and the shimmering keys that perfuse ‘Lab White’.
Currently also exploring mutant 160bpm terrain, Sam Kerridge proves an apt choice to remix ‘Integer / Along The Synthetic River’, tying a Photek-style drums in Autechrean knots, while Nahash reorganises ‘Plasma Sunrise’ with a sack of gabber bass hits, and Sote impresses most with a Persian Electro-Acoustic rework of ‘Lab White’, diffused into glorious hyperspace harmonics.
Hakuna Kulala return with ‘Kubali’, revolving around MC Yallah’s fiercely controlled delivery matched by rugged riddims from Debmaster.
A prime showcase of east Africa’s incredibly fertile electronic dance music scene, ‘Kubali’ catches Uganda-born, Kenya-based MC Yallah step on and off 11 seriously ruffshod productions blessed with the best of both scuzzy industrial fetish styles and up-to-the-second global bass/trap movements.
The mode is slow but urgent, toggling the gauge between Debmaster’s pressurised instrumentals and Yallah’s hot gobs of fire in a manner that recalls The Bug’s workouts with warrior Queen as much as a nastier version of Equiknoxx and Shanique Marie or a colourful counter to Coucou Chloe’s work with Sega Bodega.
Bookended by fractious reflections of their sonic environment in the chopped vocals of ‘TT12’ and the distorted scenes of chants and percussion in ‘TT26’, the session flows thru big vocal highlights in the cold ragga slam of ‘Kubali’, the blown-out, shark-eyed killer ‘Teba Kuda Mabega’, their clash of sour sirens with demonic dembow bumps in ‘Malbanyoma’, and the grimy swagger of ‘Sifa Leero (Gangsta Edition)’. But that’s not to discount the smart placement of Debmaster’s succinct, scowling instrumentals, strung out between the bashy rogue ‘TT32v2’ and the psychoactive militancy of ‘TT145.’
100% bad as fuck.
Cult Vietnamese-Chinese MC Triad God links with Palmistry on ‘Triad’ for Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!?, serving the follow-up to ‘NXB’, which was released in 2012 by Hippos In Tanks to widespread underground acclaim.
Palmistry again handles the lion’s share of production in ‘Triad’, matching Vinh Ngan aka Triad God’s drowsy delivery and low key intonation with careful, minimalist dembow/dancehall rhythms and gossamer, elegiac atmospheres, while Organ Tapes also supplies a tenderly rugged backdrop to album closer ‘Chinese New Year’.
Rapping and singing a mix of Cantonese and english, Triad God mostly eludes any grip of what he’s chatting for non-Cantonese speakers, but for us, the overall vibe of ‘Triad’ imparts much more than any prosaic reading of the album. From the intimately cinematic mise-en-scene of the intro, thru to the soft-touch choral ambience of ‘So Pay La’ and ‘Gway Lo’, to the Jesus-arms dancehall bumps of ‘BDG’, the angelic cadence of ‘Dill’, and the MIDI meditation of ‘Hay Wan’, it’s the kind of record that quietly demands your attention while never quite looking you in the eye/ear, and does so in the most beguiling style.
A total beauty.
Shanghai’s Svbkvlt cru drop a monstrously large label showcase with the Aphex Twin and Kode 9-backed ’Cache 01’ set
Destined to be one of 2019’s definitive multi-artist sets, ‘Cache 01’ speaks to the abundance of prism-pushing electronic mutants presently at work in the Far East. Where too many Western artists right now are caught in the retro-vintage, shabby chic trap, every one of the artists featured here embrace the here and now, and what’s to come, with a fervently infectious alacrity and directness that’s hard to ignore.
We’re all spoilt for choice with the highlights, but a few really stand out. The wildly ricocheting 808 proprioceptions of Gooooose’s ‘Arp Kicks’ is right up there with he best we’ve heard this year; Swimful impresses with the hard-ass, keening grime designs and descending sirens of ‘Nailz’; Indonesia’s Gabber Modus Operandi send us reeling with the mix of wailing traditional horns, gamelan and gabber kicks in ‘Sangkakala II’; Hyph11e precogs the deathly march of the robots set to reconfigured D&B and noise in ’Sinking’; MIIN strikes a class fusion of dembow-dancehall and IDM in ‘Metagame’; and Zaliva-D exert a powerful sidespin with the rugged battery of ’Synthetic Sin’ inna Low Jack style.
Flexing arm emoji. Fire emoji. 100% emoji.