Boomkat Product Review:
The killer first EP from Durban-based trio Illumination Boiz was originally released back in 2018 and still sounds essential, full throated gqom floor-fillers with memorable vocals and heavy-as-f production.
The Hi-NRG label was established primarily to put out Illumination Boiz's music, and "Illumination Boiz EP" was the first indication of where the then trio (now a duo) would head. Based in Durban, the de-facto home of gqom, the music is exactly as you'd hope coming straight from the source: lithe assemblages of looped chants, thick syncopated kick-sub blasts and ruff trapdoor slams, engineered with serious dancefloor intent. But it's the vocals that send this stuff over the edge, from the winding abstract meandering and singalong bursts on opening banger 'New Gqomu Benuza Wena' to the psychedelic lyricism of 'Sikwenza Konke'.
Save some energy for closing track 'Let The World Dance' and you get to hear the Boiz disassemble EDM into a stuttering experimental gqom tumble of swung kicks and tape-stop effects that has our head fully spinning.