Slide 1
Guest Playlist #06: Matt Bower of Wizards Tell Lies

By Steve Dewhurst

“When I started buying films on VHS, I would record the sound onto tape so I could take the film with me on journeys.”

Pete Swanson
Enough Dark Intensity: An Interview with Jimmy Lacy of SiP

By Jason Cabaniss

"I like the idea of “cocktail music.” Something intentionally light and pleasant. I’m always trying to write music that communicates some type of positive mood and when I’m playing, trying to focus my energy there"

Slide 2
Clean is Dirty: An Interview with Flowertown

By Lindsay Oxford

The birth of San Francisco’s Flowertown makes for a good story: longtime Bay Area scene compatriots Karina Gill (Cindy) and Mike Ramos (Tony Jay) compose a song together for an upcoming show in later winter 2020, and the day before they’re slated to play it, the world stopped.

Slide 3
Needles and Pins: Derek Piotr's Journey to the Heart of Britain's Folklands

By Steve Dewhurst

“Yorkshire is not so dissimilar to my home in the Northeast of America,” Derek Piotr tells me from York, the latest stop on his great British journey. “Connecticut is part of New England, so that makes sense.”

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Nihiloxica, “Kaloli”

This. Shit. Slaps.

Nilihoxica is the Ugandan percussion combo that finally shatters the illusory barrier between traditional and modern music—ceremony and entertainment, if you prefer—blending the artifice of our global political economy into a danceable chaos. By juxtaposing the relentlessly danceable, polyrhythmic precision of the drum language from Buganda (central Uganda) with entrancing synthesizer soundscapes of UK garage and jungle musicians, the group forges a uniquely contemporary music that can be worshipped in a liturgy or an orgy, whatever that means to you.

What does pounding your head mean to you? Whether it’s the throbbing of your skull around a dehydrated brain, or a grooving body in a nocturnal nightclub, or quarantined limbs yearning to bust loose, Nihiloxica stresses movement and rhythm above what you would prefer to call poetry or art. Warbling air-raid sirens wail over throbbing drum line numbers, while modular synthesizer jabs make occasional melodies out of indiscernibly chaotic low-end muck.

Britons and sci-fi fans may recall awkward efforts to bring speculative fiction into the modern world of drum & bass with China Mieville’s picaresque novel King Rat, which culminates in a cleverly corny battle scene set to ‘90s UK dubstep and jungle tracks. Nihiloxica feels like what a DJ might be tempted to produce if they had read that along with Cameroonian music scholar Francis Bebey’s study African Music: A People’s Art, which posits a uniquely African relationship to music as a political and ceremonial instrument as integral to society as the magistrate’s gavel.

My highlights: meditative sound-poems such as “170819” juxtapose a plaintive shepherd’s flute with Herbie Hancock-esque lounge keys, while throbbing bangers like “Tuwali Sekali” and “Gunjula” get the hips moving on the dancefloor. Shatter your world and dance a bit, or just dissolve into the oscillations.