A chrome-plated gqom and kuduro EP featuring the likes of Scratcha DVA, Slikback and Citizen Boy.
Though Nazar's showstopper was this year's Angolan Civil War-inspired debut album, he's been dropping gems on Bandcamp every couple of months since then. His most recent EP, Territorial, is an effort to harness the energy of African diaspora club producers at a time when most places around the world have closed down their dance floors. This new release boasts collaborations with gqom mainstay Citizen Boy and Princípe affiliate A.k.Adrix, along with stellar remixes from Scratcha DVA, Slikback and DJ ADAMM. It lays out a vision of modern dance music that connects genres across countries and continents.
Here, Nazar leans closer to gqom than the kuduro-influenced music of his other output, but a track like "Clan" still carries itself with the sharp swagger of his signature "dark kuduro"—its gunmetal clank and sci-fi synths are unmistakable. The Citizen Boy collaboration "2 African Sickos" is closer to regular gqom, with monstrous bass and wilder synths. It feels like it was designed to ring out across a giant stadium instead of a mere nightclub. Nazar and Manchester-based Portuguese artist A.k.Adrix connect over their mutual mutations of kuduro, pairing Adrix's knack for high-pitched sound effects—in this case, relentlessly repeated and hard-panned left and right—with a gloriously funky bassline.
The remixes appended to Territorial are just as vital as the originals, and feel more like new collaborations than reworks. Scratcha DVA retools "2 African Sickos" into a nimble, bouncy track that sounds like some of his early work on Hyperdub, while Lisbon's DJ ADAMM adds some synth brass and sands off the track's more confrontational edges. Slikback has no interest in smoothing things out: his noisy, jackhammered interpretation of "Clan" might be the EP's best track, the kind of tune that leaves a wisp of smoke in its wake.
02. 2 African Sickos feat. Citizen Boy
03. Omalã Vo Feka feat. A.k.Adrix
04. 2 African Sickos feat. Citizen Boy (DJ ADAMM Remix)
05. 2 African Sickos feat. Citizen Boy (Scratchclart Remix)
06. Clan (Slikback Remix)