Duke

Uingizaji Hewa

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Kampala, Uganda's Nyege Nyege Tapes brought international attention to Tanzania's ultra-frenetic singeli style with the release of the blistering Sounds of Sisso compilation in 2017, followed by full-lengths from producers Bamba Pana and Jay Mitta. Uingizaji Hewa by the artist simply known as Duke, an associate of Pamoja Records rather than Sisso Studios, is perhaps the scene's most off-the-wall dispatch yet, and easily one of the most fascinating albums of 2019. The style's hallmarks are all present: impossibly speedy rhythmic loops which sound like fast-forwarding tapes, cartoonish sound effects (sirens, explosions, a South Park-esque "Oh my god!"), and breathless rapping that nevertheless manages to stay right on track. Marathon tear-outs "Naona Laah" and the particularly blinding "M Lap" spotlight the vocal talents of MCZO & Don Tach and Dogo Lizzi, respectively, and they go a long way towards conveying the energy of their live performances to the home listener. The rest of the tracks are shorter, and some of them (such as "Duke 4") are slower and a bit more relaxed, but only in comparison. The final two songs slip in Bollywood-style sweeping strings and soaring vocals for an additional sense of otherworldliness. Several of the tracks don't seem to have proper beginnings, endings, or structures, making them feel like sporadic in-the-moment bursts, and there's a homemade roughness recalling punk or gabber without the nihilism. All of this sounds thoroughly exhilarating, even managing to surpass previous Nyege Nyege releases in terms of sheer strangeness and excitement. Utterly bonkers. This is the future.

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