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LISTEN: New Slikback On Hakuna Kulala
Gareth Main , January 30th, 2019 14:09

Kenya's Slikback returns with a new EP on Ugandan label Hakuna Kulala

2018 saw Hakuna Kulala explode out of their base in Kampala, Uganda with an onslaught of releases seemingly made for a futuristic club somewhere. The sounds were eclectic but all pointed in the direction of a serious progression in experimental dancefloor music.

The master of bass music coming out of Africa in 2018 was undoubtedly Slikback - the young Kenyan producer Fredrick Mwaura Njau - whose EP for Hakuna Kulala Lasakaneku announced the label with a bang in June last year. His stock rose further with a blistering set at Unsound 2018, and now tQ has an exclusive first play of ‘Sonshitsu’ - the opening track on his new EP Tomo - out via Hakuna Kulala on Friday (February 1). You can hear the track below.

Tomo is a combination of everything I love producing,” he says. “I love making music that keeps people moving and lets them lose themselves on the dancefloor.

Lasakaneku was my introduction to percussive focused production through the works of Jlin and Errorsmith whilst Tomo was more of a build up on that through the discovery of newer elements such as noise and live sampling through the works of Morgiana Hz.”

‘Sonshitsu’ is a high benchmark for new and exciting dancefloor-orientated bass music in 2019. The track is a 170 BPM titan that owes a lot to the heaviness of grime and to the unrelenting pace of East African sounds such as singeli out of Dar Es Salaam. It’s a long way from the music he grew up with: listening to gospel music that his mum played around the house, which owes a lot to the creative hub Hakuna Kulala have set up in Kampala.

“I got into production at university and would play my tracks to friends but because I didn't know much about production I would make pop tracks that sounded really raw. One of my friends loved that and he introduced me to Derek [Debru] and Arlen [Dilsizian, of Nyege Nyege] who seemed interested and invited me to their studio to let me explore more.

“While I was there they introduced me to experimental music and deconstructed genres from labels like PAN and Planet Mu. That exposure really opened me up and I began to learn how to let go of what I thought music should sound like and just make music that I think sounds cool.”

You can pre-order Tomo here.