This is easily one of the toughest entries into Hyperdub’s catalogue ever and one of the best debuts I’ve heard ever. The style is fully-formed and absolutely destructive. It’s just good to hear some more African rhythms penetrating dance music and more previously unheard voices penetrating music. Big ups to Hyperdub for being such a forward facing label.
Favorite track: Airstrike Ft Shannen SP.
Nazar’s musical world centres around the extreme violence, injustice and omnipresence of a repressive state during and after the 27-year Angolan civil war, simultaneously exploring hope, resilience and pride in a country torn apart by conflict.
After the civil war ended in 2002 Nazar who was raised in Belgium returned to Angola. It was at this point he began music production , making his own unique take on Angola’s Kuduro music. Nazar inverts Kuduro, weaving war sounds like guns cocking and airstrike swooshes, lacing cold synths with cascading percussion and swells of noise. His lyrics focus on massacres and violence, chanting and taunts against the dictatorship. Nazar calls this ‘Rough Kuduro,’ a term he coined through a hashtag on his soundcloud page.
On weaponising the genre Nazar states “since people can’t really criticise on the streets, they do it on the internet and through their art...I couldn’t express my frustrations with what I was seeing on a daily basis and translate that uglier side, the existing Kuduro was too upbeat.”
The Enclave EP reflects upon Nazar’s tumultuous journey, honouring the unnamed dead and piecing together Angola’s violent past in order to make sense of the present. It also represents a mental safe zone that he carries close to him wherever he goes - a reminder that in spite of airstrikes and whatever else may stand in the way, cities can be built anywhere when hope for a better future remains.