- Connecting East Africa with East Asia for a thrilling snapshot of global club music.
- In April, the Kenyan electronic producer Slikback toured China with the help of Shanghai-based collective SVBKVLT, a hub for the region's pulverising club music. The Nyege Nyege and Hakuna Kulala artist visited Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing, collaborating with members of SVBKVLT itself. Slip B, one of the trip's results, is an explosive hook-up with the experimental club producer Hyph11E. Despite the thousands of miles separating their homes in East Africa and East Asia, the duo share a fearsome approach to percussion.
"ISHU" opens with a buzzing, industrial grind that's quickly interrupted by a whiplash-inducing beat. Like some of Slikback's previous work, there's a furious, writhing rhythm imbued with groove, but it's almost impossible to pin down the tempo or time signature. It's exhilarating. Where Slikback's productions have occasionally sounded fragile, as if they're on the verge of snapping, the collaboration with Hyph11E yields a newfound industrial toughness. Strange science fiction-esque sound effects sit on the track's surface alongside frenzied hi-hats until the track comes to an immediate stop.
"SHIMIAN," the second of the three collaborations, is only marginally less brutal yet it feels more playful. The pair accelerate through an array of hi-tempo styles, beginning with a beat somewhere between footwork and jungle before a breakdown of sorts introduces syncopated drums. Clipped choral vocals drive into skittering percussion and ominous alarm-like rumbles while the pair's rhythm flails with seemingly total abandon. Slikback and Hyph11E also remix each other with less compelling results. Even so, the noisy collaborations at Slip B's heart provide a thrilling snapshot of global club music.
04. Hyph11E - Black Pepper (Slikback Remix)
05. Slikback - Rage (Hyph11E Remix)