Let there be drums. Specifically, intoxicating, hypnotic African drums. They’re what anchors the sound of Ugandan outfit Nihiloxica on their full-length debut Kaloli. But they’re not the only element in the mix. While the percussionists — augmented by live drum-kit work from Brit Spooky J — hold down their headnodding grooves and intertwining rhythms, U.K. electronicist pq adds stylishly idiosyncratic synth tones, textures and treatments to create a sound that balances organic and electronic, earthy and spacey, past and futuristic, East the West. Can’t beat that.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nihiloxica is a live project that harnesses the full force of the ancient Bugandan drumming tradition of Uganda and focusses it on the contemporary dancefloor through a dark, brooding lens of techno sensibility. Incubated by Nyege Tapes and serving as one of the label’s most successful collaborations to date, Nihiloxica demonstrates a continuous, evolving conversation between two cultures; a dialogue that is drawing attention from across the globe. This band is the product of a deep history between Kampala’s Nyege Nyege Festival and the Nilotika Cultural Ensemble. Under the leadership of Jajja Kalanda, the Ensemble provides an outlet for the youth of Kampala, teaching spiritual, musical and tailoring practices to underprivileged communities around the city and performing at various cultural events. Kaloli is the debut full-length LP from Kampala’s darkest electro-percussion group Nihiloxica. The album marries propulsive Ugandan percussion with technoid analog synth lines and hybrid kit playing from the UK’s pq and Spooky-J. The result is something otherworldly. Kaloli journeys through the uncharted space between two cultures of dance music, where the expression of traditional elements mutates into something more sinister and nihilistic.”