MAGIC MIX

hip hop . r'n'b . trap

WEEK STARTING 3 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Mama Waliwamanyii by MC Yallah.

MC Yallah

Mama Waliwamanyii

    Ugandan rapper MC Yallah joins Phantom Limb for the release of her blistering new 12” Mama Waliwamanyii. Produced by Irish electronic artist Eomac (one half of R&S Records’ Lakker), the EP fuses Yallah’s breakneck Luganda language rapping with Eomac’s powerful, purposeful beats.

    Formed remotely between Dublin and Kampala, Mama Wailwamanyii represents several months of work, sending beats, loops and song-stems back and forth until the results boiled down to the two vital cuts of exhilarating, experimental, unpredictable hip-hop that make up the EP.

    Opening with urgent descending synth lines, ‘Mama Waliwamanyii’ rushes Yallah’s rhythmic vocal style to the forefront, bristling with kinetic energy. The song references her mother - its title translates to “Mama, you were strong” - and a sense of fierce, feminine intensity pervades throughout, a deep personal meaning that kicks as hard as the beats. The track is destined to intoxicate dancefloors across the world, perfectly sculpted by Eomac to rise and fall with breathless ecstasy one moment and send the heart racing with expectation the next. Yallah wrote the track after losing her mother, who raised her and her siblings alone following their escape from the domestic violence of their home life in Kenya. She writes that the studio session evoked floods of tears. That raw, expressive power shines through.

    On the flip, ‘Kakana’ is darker, more patient. Eomac’s spacious, creeping synth lines burn and glower with simmering anticipation, while Yallah’s delivery fills in the percussive gaps with machine-gun poetry. It acts as a neat foil both to ‘Mama Waliwamanyii’ and to Yallah’s previous material, positioning her contribution to the collaboration as a colourful, flowing solo over the greyscale, psuedo-industrial sonics laid down by Eomac. A call to arms, the title translates to “calm down” in response to the criticism Yallah has faced as an outspoken, independent MC in her local scene.

    The EP also features extended mixes of both tracks as instrumental versions specially created by Eomac, transforming them into a mutant, warped techno with entirely different personalities to their vocal takes. MC Yallah is Kenyan by heritage, but born and raised in Kampala, where she is a key member of the much-celebrated Nyege Nyege crew. Her debut release - a collaboration with French producer Debmaster - surfaced in 2018 on Nyege’s Hakuna Kulala imprint. Björk recently picked up on the Yallah phenomenon, spinning her tracks in DJ sets and mixes.

    Eomac (Dublin-based producer Ian McDonnell) is one half of Phantom Limb favourites Lakker, whose pitch-black avant-techno graces both dancefloors and experimental music venues the world over. His solo records - including the vital 2016 album Bedouin Trax LP of Middle Eastern samples, released on the UAE’s Bedouin Records - are favourites of Phantom Limb’s A&R team.

    Clams Casino

    Moon Trip Radio

      New Jersey-native Clams Casino stands amongst the most respected hip-hop producers in the game today. After several years of underground notoriety, Clams became widely known after producing several of the standout tracks on A$AP Rocky’s monolithic debut mixtape Live. Love. ASAP and has received widespread critical acclaim for his collaborations with Lil Peep, Vince Staples, Lil B, Mac Miller, The Weeknd, Joji amongst others. Clams released his hugely anticipated instrumental album Moon Trip Radio late last year, a stunning collection of tracks that showcase his immense talent as both a composer and producer. 

      Kool Keith

      Computer Technology

        Kool Keith is an educated man, boasting a pair of doctorates -- one in dooomology and another in octagon mathematics. With this immense medical and scientific background at his disposal, Keith has come to operate. Production on Keith's albums is eerily evil; his music is an LSD experience gone horribly wrong. Bizarre, ethereal sound effects and tight, piercing drum loops prepare the listener for a down and dirty lyrical delivery that's been cultivated since Keith first arrived on the rap scene with the Ultramagnetic MCs. Verses contain unique rhyme structures and original metaphors, and range from classic emcee braggadocio to tales of robbery and street sex. Keith's latest LP "Computer Technology" entirely produced by Junkaz Lou is yet another work of art. No MC on the planet is so grimy and yet so polished -- after years in the rap game, Kool Keith's as unique as ever.

        Kool Keith

        Saks 5th Ave

          Arguably poised as Kool Keith’s most sophisticated release to date, “Saks 5th Ave” serves as both a stepping stone forward in the artist’s prolific career, as well as a much needed reminder that the world’s most innovative emcee has a thorough grasp on far more than your average rapper. Touching on everything from the use of high fashion products to personal experiences including a near fatal car crash which occurred in 2017, The 16 track studio album produced by the versatile beat maker Dean “Landon Price Beats” Trotter channels Keith in a smoothly conscious state while laying down effortless bars over modern yet timeless hip hop production. From the artist who brought you "Dr. Dooom”, “Sex Style”, “Keith” and everything in between, “Saks 5th Ave” is the latest and greatest haute couture in a world of Gap and Old Navy hip hop.

          Naeem

          Startisha

            Startisha introduces Naeem as a restlessly creative artist with an impressionistic, genre-bending album. As a complete work, Startisha exemplifies artistic daring and emotional intelligence while exploring new ideas and sounds, and philosophically excavating the artist’s histories. Startisha may be loaded with impressive collaborations and left-field sounds, but don't get it twisted—this music comes straight from Naeem's heart, representing the journey he's taken to get to this point as well as what lies in the future for him.

            Baltimore-hailing Naeem Juwan has spent much of the last decade stretching his creative legs in a variety of ways: he's hit the road with artists ranging from the Avalanches and Bon Iver to Big Red Machine and Mouse on Mars, took part in a 37d03d residency in Berlin, and was selected as the music resident in 2019 for New York's Pioneer Works space. Through it all, he's been building the songs that make up Startisha, a record a half-decade in the making that featured Juwan pulling from creative circles all across the U.S. to craft a truly unique document of sound.

            After studio sessions in Philadelphia and New York, Juwan decamped to Minneapolis and holed up in Justin Vernon's home studio, where Startisha continued to come together with contributions from Vernon, Ryan Olson (Gayngs, Polica), Swamp Dogg, Velvet Negroni, Francis and the Lights, and regular collaborators Amanda Blank and Micah James. The guest spots came together "very organically. I originally didn't want any features at all. Over time, meeting people and sharing the record with them, things just kind of happened."

            For Juwan, the challenge inherent in Startisha was to “write songs from a personal place, and to write love songs – both things I’ve never done before.” The album kicks off with a gorgeous cover of the Silver Apples classic "You and I," reinterpreted for today's fraught times. He describes “Stone Harbor” as “a simple love song to my boyfriend, written in and name after the shore town he and his family spend their summers, Stone Harbor, NJ.” On “Simulation,” the album’s first proper single, Juwan offers a kind of treatise of creative resistance on art and culture. “I had been reading a few books, such as Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art, and they helped me solidify feelings I’ve had all of my life about surviving a society of institutions that presents fictions as fact, and often use these fictions to diminish my worth, or to convince me to join their gangs. So I wrote this song to remind myself, and hopefully everyone that hears it, that nothing is real, and our greatest defense in this life is our own creativity, and finding great faith in whatever sigils and icons we choose to guide us.”

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: Opaque red vinyl.


            In stock and available to order now: https://t.co/P8jSlpMZbf https://t.co/4acticvkUO
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