Hakuna Kulala run out their first album with ‘Kubali’, revolving MC Yallah’s fiercely controlled delivery matched by rugged riddims from Debmaster.
A prime showcase of east Africa’s incredibly fertile electronic dance music scene, ‘Kubali’ catches Uganda-born, Kenya-based MC Yallah step on and off 11 seriously ruffshod productions blessed with the best of both scuzzy industrial fetish styles and up-to-the-second global bass/trap movements.
The mode is slow but urgent, toggling the gauge between Debmaster’s pressurised instrumentals and Yallah’s hot gobs of fire in a manner that recalls The Bug’s workouts with warrior Queen as much as a nastier version of Equiknoxx and Shanique Marie or a colourful counter to Coucou Chloe’s work with Sega Bodega.
Bookended by fractious reflections of their sonic environment int he shopped up vocals of ‘TT12’ and the distorted scenes of chants and percussion in ‘TT26’, the session flows thru big vocal highlights in the cold ragga slam of ‘Kubali’, the blown-out, shark-eyed killer ‘Teba Kuda Mabega’, their clash of sour sirens with demonic dembow bumps in ‘Malbanyoma’, and the grimy swagger of ‘Sifa Leero (Gangsta Edition)’. But that’s not to discount the smart placement of Debmaster’s succinct, scowling instrumentals, strung out between the bashy rogue ‘TT32v2’ and the psychoactive militancy of ‘TT145.’