UK Music

Nihiloxica: “Asidi”

What happens when you aggressive UK bass collides with testosterone-driven Bugandan percussion? Nothing quiet, that’s for sure. That specific combo of acoustic and electronic, of modern and traditional first came about with the formation of Nihiloxica half a decade back, when UK producers Spooky-J and pq linked up with Nilotika Cultural Ensemble members Isa, Sally, Prince, and Spyda in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala.

Owing their handle to a Nile river source in Kampala, Nihiloxica’s sound also captures a stream of consciousness between Bantu and English, and takes inspiration from the regressive attitudes and institutionalized discrimination that so often plague those cross-continental conversations. But as heard on Nihiloxica’s 2017 eponymous EP, its 2019 follow-up Biiri, and their 2020 debut full-length Kaloli, lyrics simply don’t channel that impassioned outrage as well as extreme electronic techniques and an undying drive of drums.

Early last year, Nihiloxica returned to their early Nyege Nyege Studio stomping grounds in Kampala to track their sophomore LP Source of Denial in a rigorous one-month period. The result is an absolutely insane instrumental excursion over eleven outrageous, genre-bending originals. Source of Denial brings an awful lot of bass to the bureaucracy and powerful percussion to UK foreign policy, and as hinted by their near-illegible album artwork, some really cool interjections of metal into Nihiloxica’s formulas. And while themes of racism, xenophobia, and international classism might escape surface-level listeners, that subtext is critical to Source of Denial‘s immense artistic statement. So before Source of Denial hits streaming on Friday, enter Nihiloxica’s next chapter of unconventional-but-necessary, mad scientist-level innovation and techno-entrancement onĀ “Asidi”.

PM Warson: “(Don’t) Hold Me Down”

Englanders raised after the tides of New Wave had waned and while the turn-of-the-millennium indie rock boom began to quiet down might’ve gravitated more towards the music of the midcentury. That’s exactly what happened with singer-guitarist PM Warson, who, after a stint as a full-time touring musician, has since settled nicely into a ’50s/’60s R&B-soul aesthetic. Backed by a chorus of women singers and a horn section, Warson’s debut album True Story was cut straight to tape, giving the ten vintage-style tracks an extra sense of authenticity. This year Warson dropped a new single (“Leaving Here”) that ventures into early garage rock territory, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight True Story‘s crown jewel, “(Don’t) Hold Me Down”.

Low Hummer: “Talk Shows”

South By’s in full swing and Song of the Day‘s got another recommendation for you – this time on behalf of East Yorkshire sextet Low Hummer. Low Hummer’s debut album Modern Tricks For Living dropped last September, exposing a post-punk potency not heard since the late-’70s or early-’80s. It’s almost as if Gang of Four expanded their iconic sound with alternating vocalists, crunchy synths, and a contemporary helping of reverb. Low Hummer plays three times over the next few days, 8PM tonight at Seven Grand, 9PM tomorrow at Valhalla, and 11PM on Saturday at BBC’s British Music Embassy. We’re hoping Low Hummer unleashes some of their latest stuff live, considering they’ve got new singles coming in June and November ahead of a sophomore album next Spring. Luckily this morning Low Hummer treated us to the record’s first work, “Talk Shows”, which may become syndicated in your playlist thanks to its MIDI percussion groove, detached lyrics, and explosive dynamics.