- Exciting experimental club from the Nyege Nyege crew.
- In less than a year, Hakuna Kulala has become a top outpost for genre-defying club music. A sister label to Uganda's Nyege Nyege Tapes, it focuses on artists from East Africa who operate in a more open spectrum rather than defined local scenes. Embodying this idea is Slikback, a Kenyan artist based in Kampala who launched the label last year with the Lasakaneku EP. Tomo, a more assured follow-up to that record, melts footwork, trap and other club styles into a dark, sleek hybrid.
We've heard combinations of footwork and trap before, but the ways Slikback blends these styles feels fresh. "Sonshitsu" is topsy-turvy with a drunken-swagger, while "Rage" is intense and almost industrial. Where "Gemini" staggers like upside-down reggaeton, "Karum" is an exhilarating slip-and-slide through stuttering drum patterns and a flattened bassline that nods to early grime. "Karum" is loose, but the thrilling "Kyokai" is precise, each snare landing like a boxer's jab. You could study the influences on Tomo and come out with a laundry list of subgenres, but that feels antithetical to the music's blur of drums, synths and samples. Tomo is a strong record that further reinforces East Africa as a hub for creative club music.