Contemporary club music from East Africa.
The first release comes from the Kenyan producer Slikback. Lasakaneku makes clear that he's a young artist who's spent time soaking up the sounds of bass music from across the globe. He carefully chops vocals and snares on "Acid" and "Ascension," while "Bantu Zen" has the bassweight and sparseness of dubstep. "Just I" is a slow, fat, atmospheric roller. "Venom" is the gnarliest of the lot, a rough, frantic track that explodes into life when the bass hits enter after a minute or so.
"Things are not so different here to other parts of the world when it comes to underground music—young people are inventing and reinventing new sounds in conversation with each other," Nyege Nyege's Arlen Dilsizian said last year. He's right. The five tracks on Lasakaneku have plenty in common with the music on labels like PAN and Planet Mu. (The appreciation appears to be mutual: PAN's Bill Kouligas played a Slickback production on a recent NTS show.) The most intriguing thing is that, when it comes to Slikback and his scene, this EP feels like the tip of the iceberg.