Source Of Denial

Crammed Discs • 2023

The combination of percussive music with live electronics and dub methodology has become somewhat of a trope, but Nihiloxica, along with the Ndagga Rhythm Force, remain among the best in the game. »Source of Denial« is the second album from the group based between the UK and Uganda, following two EPs for Nyege Nyege Tapes and a full-length debut for Crammed Discs, and follows a concept that at first glance seems hyper-specific: it’s a record about travel restrictions for touring bands. But as the title also hints at, the record aims to trace the roots for the rejection of all travellers at the borders of this world—including especially the UK, which first separated itself from the EU and has only become stricter in recent times. Nihiloxica do so largely wordlessly, yet powerfully. Certainly, the underlying concept is not really explicitly expressed by the thunderous rumble of the drums and the dubbed out sound—but implicitly, it’s the obvious theme of this record. With »Kudistro,« »Source of Denial« goes straight into medias res with bouncing rhythms, but this is followed by a voice recording expressing the bureaucratic terror of geopolitical and economic entanglements with the teflon-like friendliness of a call centre employee. This is not the only skit among these eleven tracks that bitterly yet humorously denounces the status quo simply by demonstrating its absurdity. This in turn has an effect on how you perceive the music, which at times picks up on contemporary approaches to advanced club music or even rumbling industrial music, while it is also at times perfectly moshpit-inducing. In brief, »Source of Denial« is Nihiloxica’s heaviest, angriest, most urgent album. Which, of course, is saying something.