“Kaloli” is the debut full-length LP from Kampala’s darkest electro-percussion group Nihiloxica. The album marries the propulsive Ugandan percussion of the Nilotika Cultural Ensemble with technoid analog synth lines and hybrid kit playing from the UK’s pq and Spooky-J. The result is something otherworldly. “Kaloli” journeys through the uncharted space between two cultures of dance music, where the expression of traditional elements mutates into something more sinister and nihilistic.
For their forthcoming release on Crammed Discs, Nihiloxica’s dialogue reaches ever further into new areas. Busoga is dreamy and melodious, while Bwola plunges straight into armageddon. Tewali Sukali embraces the band’s furtive heavy metal influences much more closely. With more running time, the band have been able to sculpt their most personal, revealing work to date: one that stands up as a true home listening experience. Giving listeners a further glimpse into Nihiloxica’s musical process are snippets from rehearsal sessions that took place ahead of the recording in Jinja, near to where Nyege Nyege festival takes place. In the third and final of these interlude we witness Jally drop his engalabi in favour of a hand-made flute to lend the album a tranquil ad-libbed outro, accompanied by an evening chorus of Jinja’s plentiful crickets.
Once described by Gareth Main in the Quietus as ‘the best band on Earth right now’, it’s no surprise that Nihiloxica have plaudits from an esteemed list of sources.