Boomkat Product Review:
Don Zilla's debut long player is a DSP-heavy descent into transdimensional subspace electronix, ruptured rhythmic analysis and humid, muscle-tensing textures. One of East Africa's most curious musical minds, Zilla offers a fresh take on clanking, hi-NRG bass music: it's like Slikback, Emptyset and Dreamcrusher beamed into yer brain simultaneously.
Following 2019's ace "From the Cave to the World", "Ekizikiza Mubwengula" gives us a clearer picture of Don Zilla's musical vision. Only a few years ago, the producer was teaching himself how to make beats in FL Studio at an internet cafe. Now he runs Nyege Nyege Tapes' Boutiq Studios in Kampala, and has pioneered a dissident sound assembled from a global patchwork of dance and experimental flavors.
The album opens with 'Full Moon', a dense web of timestretched East African percussion and resonant drones. This brief intro establishes the setting, before 'Tension' stomps into view with Timbaland-esque string chops, machine-gun kicks and the kind of rasping analog synth noize that wouldn't be out of place on a Pan Sonic 12". 'Buziba' digs further into outer realms, linking gqom's sparse, ominous wobble with trap and halfstep rhythmic pulses and sheets of ear-splitting white noise.
Zilla is most successful when he lets loose completely, like on jackhammer rave belter 'Entambula' and amphetamine-addled gravity-twister 'Moving Space'. These tracks demonstrate Zilla's commitment to the dance, punctuating his challenging sonic landscape with loud, inescapable commands to move. Pure future sh*t, seriously.