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Hakuna Kulala/Nyege Nyege Tapes - HK043LP
Prolific Japanese producer T5UMUT5UMU has built up a reputation in the last few years for his ability not just to recreate club styles but to flip them into almost unrecognizable dancefloor hybrids. "Asyl" follows a blistering run of Bandcamp releases where T5UMUT5UMU has melted together gqom and techno, deconstructed grime and welded dubstep to traditional music from Japan and India. Here, he's operating completely off the grid, pulling raw materials from across the globe and hammering them into confounding shapes and patterns. On its surface, 'Fireball' sounds like a liquid metal approximation of South African gqom, but move in closer and you can make out dubstep bass squelches, trap hats, and industrial techno jet propulsion filling in the gaps with rubberized mortar. 'Desert' is the EP's most lightheaded cut, a psychedelic percussive spiral that curves micro-tuned mbira clangs around bee sting bass, aerated noise blasts and sub-aqueous kicks. It's a hard track to place, but fits in somewhere between Donato Dozzy, Menzi and 33EMYBW, all shifting rhythms and precision-edited sound design. 'Sea of Trees' retains this momentum, pushing the tempo and interspersing woodblock vibrations with syncopated bass drums and goosebump-inducing synths, while closer 'Bottomless Valley' shifts back into a gqom framework, shuffling the expected pulse with a powerful dembow swing, half step subs and Indian-inspired rattles. "Asyl" is a varied but shockingly coherent statement from an enigmatic producer who refuses to confine himself to a single path, and at a time when "cross-genre" is the norm rather than the exception, it's refreshing to witness a producer who's unafraid to truly make stylistic left-turns, rather than simply mash together top-level aesthetics.
Sea of Trees