Nihiloxica are one of the most formidable, dynamite groups operating in the world today, and with Source of Denial they perhaps have a record that matches up to their intoxicating and gnostic live shows. A collaborative project between British producers Spooky-J and PQ and Ugandan drumming ensemble Nilotika, they’re now seven years into fleshing out their ravenous take on dance music.
Their sound is characterised by the obnoxious use of synthesisers, a dash of textural luminosity from native Ugandan instruments like the Ngalabi, and the constant propulsion of an array of drums – a real novel fusion, that, especially on Source of Denial, works an absolute treat.
The group’s first post-pandemic record is shaped by the ever-worsening world unto which it was born, and is coloured particularly by the group’s toils in procuring a UK visa in 2022. Samples of hold music, automated voicemails and telephones left unanswered serve as an alienating soundscape, another texture for the band’s brilliant brew.
The high point comes around the middle of the record. The skit ‘Interrogation/Welcome’ is made up of a distorted automated phone message, which transitions boldly into the excellent title track ‘Source of Denial’, a battle-ready head-banger that lands somewhere between the reckless abandon of classic dubstep and a hard-shredding metalocalypse.
Opener ‘Kudistro’ is a real treat, too, as a malfunctioning ’80s house synth battles for prominence with a range of percussion and vocal samples, and ‘Banganga’ is a frenetic number that demonstrates the awesome power of the African drums/Western dance music fusion. Source of Denial sees the band refine what made debut Kaloli stand out; throughout, Nihiloxica are simply a force of nature.
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