Slide 1
Review: Retribution Body, "Baphomet"

By Steve Dewhurst

For Baphomet‘s creation, Matthew Azevedo decamped to Methuen Memorial Music Hall, replete with its 160 year old Great Organ and famed four-second reverberation.

Pete Swanson
A Folk Music of Sorts: An Interview with Zefan Sramek of Precipitation

By Jason Cabaniss

"For much of my work, both musical and otherwise, the notion of place is very important. That’s one of the reasons I like using field recordings."

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Inbox #10: Real Life Ambient Top 10

By Emmerich Anklam

Greil Marcus, whose books like Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces and The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs deepen the mysteries of rock music instead of explaining them away, has kept up his Real Life Rock Top 10 column with few interruptions for more than thirty-five years. This edition of The Inbox is structured after his column and dedicated to him.

Slide 2
Guest Playlist #08: H. Anthony Hildebrand

By Steve Dewhurst

“The first album I was given was Rolf Harris’ Greatest Hits... that’s how not cool the music happening at our house was."

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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.