O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

30 from 17 Kendrick Lamar vs. Nihiloxica. Damn!

Jason finds truth in the exalted and the obscure

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2017
BLOOD, PRIDE, LUST, FEAR, GOD
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: December, 2017
BLOOD, PRIDE, LUST, FEAR, GOD

#19
Damn
Kendrick Lamar
(Top Dawg Entertainment)

Kendrick Lamar’s last album -To Pimp a butterfly (2015) is one of the most revered album of the last decade.  The lyrics were ferocious, ingenious and poetic, the delivery was breathlessly breath taking, and the sound took rap and hip-hop into funkier and jazzier territories.  Even Obama was a fan.

The follow up is a starker affair.  Stripped of the soulful pleasantries, DAMN is Hip Hop at its most direct, just look at the song titles:  BLOOD, PRIDE, LUST, FEAR, GOD (all in caps).  Lamar’s lyrics are a dextrous and innovative outpouring of his personal and political convictions and concerns (of which, unsurprisingly, there are many). 

DAMN shows Kendrick Lamar as a master storyteller. The closer (DUCKWORTH), includes some of the finest lyrics he has written (‘Pray with the hooligans, shadows all in the dark/Fellowship with demons and relatives, I’m a star).  His lyrics alone will be pored over for years.  DAMN is an amazing chapter in his story.


#18
Nihiloxica
Nihiloxica
(Nyege Nyege Tapes)


Some albums, like DAMN by Kendrick Lamar, arrive with the a ceremonial red carpet treatment, pages upon pages of genius.com are filled with reverential analysis of every syllable whilst metacritic.com explodes with earnest opinions. Other albums sneak in unnoticed through the back door with no hype, no fanfare, nothing.

The debut album from Nihiloxica definitely falls into the second category.  Only 100 cassettes of the four track album have been released on Kampala’s Nyege Nyege Tapes (although there's a link to the digital download at the end of the review).  It is the intoxicating, pulsating sound of Bugandan drumming, mixed with eerie, unsettling synth noises.  

Opener Nilo Chug mixes pounding drum circles with disorienting electronic sounds, they make for strange sonic bedfellows, but the overall effect is captivating. 

Choir Chops adds vocals into the mix to create an unnervingly avant garde experience. The mesmerizing Endongo is less unnerving, the analog synths and the pulsating percussion interweave perfectly.  Finally Kadodi is a frantic stomp which end with one of the band shouting an exhausted 'Fuck!'  It's understandable. 

Clocking in at just over 26 minutes, this is a tantalising introduction to the darkly brilliant world of Nihiloxica. 

For further details:
https://nyegenyegetapes.bandcamp.com/album/nihiloxica


The countdown so far on YouTube
 

 

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

And the Ass Saw The Side-Project
Grinderman hearkens back to the triumphant lows of The Birthday Party while adhering to the less-thrilling highs of the Bad seeds
Four Tet: OK, OK, I'll Dance Already
Back in 2005 Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden reclaimed techno for people that liked real music, but on his latest, he reshapes it for those that still like dance music.
Picture This #1: Bryan Ferry
Ahhh, another series of fleeting encounters (now with photos!!!) with the famous and infamous. Number One, Jason Lewis bumps into Bryan Ferry
300 Words From London - Opera, Ballet and Rattling Newspapers
Martha Wainwright at the Royal Opera House but all is not well in the cheap seats.
Personal Space: Corey Dargel and Matt Marks
Two rising stars of the art song scene and its homebase label New Amsterdam turn pop songs inside out and back to replace the dream with the truth
How To Survive The Dreaded Summer Music Festival.
Some of our favorite things...