Self Titled

(Translinguistic Other)

This is the first time I’ve heard Swahili but I’m already curious enough to hear more. Their self-titled debut comes courtesty the Translinguistic Other label and is absolutely relentless. The thing that really stands out is the drumming. The whole album is pretty murky and blown-out, but the way the percussion is always bordering on being totally overdriven works perfectly. Tribal-infused rhythms are the perfect backbone to the synth and vocal interplay that makes up the bulk of the album. Tracks like “Soma” and “Contact” are almost straight-up rock songs. Shrouded under a murky veil, these songs are easily hypnotic and draw you in with hints of familiar structure. The thing is - there is nothing about this music that is by the book. Everytime I think I’ve got it figured out, the band throws a wrench like the ghostly scrawl of “Kidhr” or the out-of-nowhere minimal electronic aspects of “Ascher J2000.” The fast-paced insanity of “Agni” is the cherry on top. The percussion beats you over the head while the synths sound like the end of the world. It’s a sonic fucking monument. This ‘everything goes’ mentality serves Swahili well. The heavily dosed jams that make up most of the album are certainly the band’s strongest point, but they never settle and keep trying out new ideas that make this record better as a whole. - Brad Rose, Experimedia

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