Boomkat Product Review:
Unhinged cybergrind industrial gristle from Duma's Lord Spikeheart and nomadic serial collaborator Elvin Brandhi. Wild, ritualistic and loud as fuck, 'Drunken Love' is like Napalm Death, Arca, Slikback and Machine Girl twisted together into a stream-of-consciousness blast. Deranged, in the best way.
Electroid death metal duo Duma have been carving out their own niche for the last few years, channeling divergent influences into a cacophonous whirr of breakneck hardstyle drums and guttural growls. Elvin Brandhi, for her part, has been developing her idiosyncratic vocal and sampler technique since her time in Yeah You when she was just a teenager. In the last couple of years she's turned up on records alongside ZULI, Ziúr, Zoë Mc Pherson, Koenig, Ruhail Qaisar, WULFFLUW XCIV and Drew McDowell, among others. The duo penned 'Drunken Love' after connecting in Kampala in 2019, both intrigued by the other's divergent improvisational style. Recording tirelessly, they shuttled material back and forth and worked out how best to intertwine their unique approaches, eventually coming up with a whirring, chaotic suite of tracks that splay their influences into punkish fanfares of blistering percussion and hoarse screams.
'Cruxify all the prophets' is like a bucket of iced water over the head on a freezing day, all dense drones shattered by metallic, post-deco mechanical whirrs before Spikeheart and Brandhi trade mutated syllables on the mic, vacillating between staccato, android chat and monastic cries. Although the clubwise percussion plays a central role, bounding from ear-pummeling gabber kicks to East Coast bedsqueaks and foley grime pneumatics, its the duo's vocal exchanges that provide the fireworks. On the bonkers 'DRUNK IN LOVE HATE!!!!!!!!!!!' (those exclamation points are important, lol), clattering acoustic drums are shaped into jagged bumps, disrupted by machine-gun, Autechre-esque kick slinkies and static-drenched rasps. There's a wicked, carnivalesque quality to this one, with fairground melodies imposed on precarious scaffolds of brutalist percussion and radio hum.
'whiom8warwomb666' retains this mood, but augments it with a militaristic thud that bends through form and function, fluxing the tempo as if it's controlled by the duo's breathing. Buzzing, high-pitched synths sound like demonic baroque strings, and Lord Spikeheart's manic vocalisations are scrubbed like tape loops into rubbery gurgles and groans. Elsewhere, Brandhi and Spikeheart muck with the dembow/dancehall template on 'do you like feeling awakeee33 cult 8 again', taking meowing vocal loops and matching them with hard-swung beats and toybox squeaks, and on 'INTRACLOUD666.6' they find a fertile spot between flashy ATL trap, Luboš Fišer's 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders' soundtrack, and punishing neo-grindcore.
The wildest moment comes with assistance from Kenyan DJ and producer Makossiri, who sings like Björk over Brandhi's ADHD fragments of folk and machine funk and Spikeheart's choppy coughs. Almost uncontrollably rebellious, 'Drunken Love' is a wide-eyed, anarchic collision of sound that's innovative, addictive and often painful - we wouldn't have it any other way.