Boomkat Product Review:
Force of nature, Elvin Brandhi (Yeah You) meets the Nyege Nyege squad at their villa HQ in Kampala, Uganda, for this gnashing batch of semi-improvised rudeness on Slikback’s Hakuna Kulala imprint.
The result of Elvin’s extended stay at the villa in April, 2019, ‘Headroof’ piles her chopped and auto-tuned vocals on salty blast beats built from field recordings of Evangelist churches, patched together with the voice of local rappers Hakim and Swordsman Kitala, plus cranky rhythms wrenched from the desks of Boutiq studio manager Don Zilla and Congolese producer Oise.
All 10 tracks packed inside are as febrile as you might hope for if you’ve any knowledge of Elvin’s breakthrough work as a catalytic improvisor with her dad in Yeah You, establishing an oeuvre that has seen her go toe-to-toe with everyone from marble-mouthed MC Sensational to Rhodri Davies and Afrobeat legends Tony Allen and Pat Thomas over the past decade, while on their side the Kampala crew fully pay testament to the electric energy coursing thru contemporary East and Central African music right now.
Like Rian Treanor’s FACT mix or the upcoming, amazing Metal Preyers LP on NNT, the meeting of UK and UG artists generates something really special and unique in ‘Headroof’. Ranging from invocations of demonic spirit voices in ‘Hakim Storm’ to a 9 minute wide rush of percussive voodoo and possessed, glibber-jaw vocals that resemble air-horns, it’s a f*cking madness is what it is, enacting a riveting push and pull between rictus grime frameworks in ‘Ghott Zillah’, the concrète surreality of the title track and ‘Door 2 Porte Parole’, or what sounds like a ruffshod Arca in ‘Etiquette Stomp’, while ‘Troffj’ spirals off on haywire blast beat vectors and ‘Rey’ wraps it all up like an unresolved soundcloud rap classic. Mad, brilliant stuff.