- In 2016, Nkisi shared a mix called The Dark Orchestra. Mostly made up of her own work, it was an intense and mesmerising blend of bold melodies and heavy percussion. While her EP of the same name doesn't share any of the same tracks, it weaves a similar thread of energy and beauty that darts between hardcore, trance, techno and Congolese rhythms. Following EPs by Rian Treanor and 2814, The Dark Orchestra is the third record released on Warp's re-blossoming Arcola sub-label this year.
The EP's intro confirms the record as a great fit. Fizzy hardcore drums merge with panoramic synths and crashing waves on the title track, recalling the atmosphere and emotion of classic IDM. The sudden changes in energy are exhilarating, keeping you on edge as you wait for the next unexpected turn. "G.E.O." mirrors the intense hardcore moments of the record's opener. Its pounding motions are backed by dizzying trance loops and a drawn-out voice whispering into the void. "Violent Tendencies" speaks to the record's title, with orchestral strings turning a simmering drum workout into a moving composition. Nkisi's take on dance music's higher tempos gets more exciting with every record.
A1 The Dark Orchestra
A2 Violent Tendencies