June 13, 2012


LV feat Okmalumkoolkat: Sebenza (Hyperdub 2012)
from Hyperdub on Vimeo.

Son Raw slam boom bang like African drums.

Fun fact: I’ve interviewed more Hyperdub artists than any other label (Kode9 interview dropping soon). You’d think that would make me unable to critically assess the their output and maybe that’s true: I get unnaturally defensive or evangelical when the label’s output strays left-field, which it does often, only to back peddle a few months later when I “get it.” Darkstar’s album wasn’t THAT great but I probably shouldn’t have started my Hype Williams interview with “Fuck Hype Williams.” Who knows? They might get me to bump Laurel Halo in a few months. Nah…

In any case, this forthcoming release by production trio LV and MC Okmallumkoolkat (which I believe translates to “fuck a spell-check”) gets my wholehearted endorsement with no second-guessing. While the label has increasingly become a bi-polar beast of cerebral albums and physical singles, Sebenza marks a return to the queasy, dystopian sci-dance they’re best known for. The group’s previous Kwaito-house inspired release Boomslang operated as a riotous party anthem but Sebenza’s arpegiated synths, off-kilter rhythms and disconcerting raps mark it as a different beast: reality rap for a country whose reality the first world would rather ignore. Suffice to say, the accompanying video’s mix of hood iconography and matching jackets is worth your time: this is everything you might like from M.I.A or Die Antwoord without the stench of hipsterdom, novelty or Jimmy Interscope. LV’s album with Joshua Idehen on Keysound was a sleeper hit last year, their forthcoming South London meets South-Africa album promises to up their profile.

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