Boomkat Product Review:
Punk-rap spearhead Wu-Lu reps for South London in ’22 with a strong debut album, proper, for Warp after making waves with his self-releases and drops on CURL and Touching Bass.
Hailing from a fecund scene south of the Thames, Wu-Lu naturally weaves influences ranging from punk rock and rap to jungle and slanted soul in the swagger of ‘Loggerhead’. There’s a thousand other artists professing to do the same, but it genuinely works in Wu-Lu’s hands, in no small part due to his versatile vox which serve the coherent connective ligature between his disparate style hopping. At times those vocals remind of Dean Blunt at his most strung out, and especially when he’s joined by the harmonised backing vox of Asha Lorenz, Amon, Lex Amor and Léa Sen in a style shades away from Blunt’s work with Joanne Robertson.
Issued in the year that Disney released a TV mini-series about The Sex Pistols, the idea of “punk” is clearly up for grabs by whoever the fuck wants it. Safe to say we’re really feeling Wu-Lu’s rugged punk-rap slant, one informed as much by jazz and soul as it is by loud guitars and pugilistic percussion. There’s a direct rawness to the results that are in antithesis to Yves Tumor’s overwrought posturing, for example, and really gets under the skin between the Dean Blunt-esque intro ‘Take Stage’, his restless, tight take on jungle in ‘Facts’, and the killer post-punk holler of ‘Road Trip’, with downbeat highlights such as ‘Calo Paste’ and ‘Slightly’ even recalling aspects of Rat Heart’s lokey punk soul approach as much as Slauson Malone or Tirzah.
Bob on, this.