The new faces of Hyperdub
As part of our August cover story, on 15 years of Hyperdub, we shine a spotlight on five young artists who are taking the label further into the future
Proc Fiskal is a 22-year-old Scottish grime producer who rejects nostalgia as a concept, yet walks slap-bang into it. Last summer’s winsome debut LP ‘Insula’, featuring tracks called both ‘Apple Juice’ and ‘Pints’, was a soup of influences. They ranged from video games like Bioshock and Pikmin, trashy Scottish hardcore found on Russian forums and Dizzee Rascal — ‘A Like Ye’ sent up ‘I Luv U’ as well as you’d hope with a name like that. He is a sentient, smirking web browser with a load of tabs chattering away at once.
Co–founder of African diasporic collective NON Worldwide alongside Nkisi and Chino Amobi, Angel–Ho has come to prominence as an artist with a mission. On her 2019 album ‘Death Becomes Her’, she stepped out as Hyperdub’s luxe popstar–in–waiting, marrying the silkiness of rap and R&B to noisy electronics, reflecting on the turbulence of growing up as a trans woman of colour in South Africa. It’s paid off. She was tapped to support MIA in Cape Town last year.
Jesse Kanda is architect of one of this decade’s visual hallmarks — high-definition renders of warped bodies and mottled textures that garnered mainstream attention through FKA Twigs, Arca and fashion house Hood By Air. His club tracks as Doon Kanda are melodic and tactile, though prone to dyspeptic lurches, a duality that suits Hyperdub well. At the second ever Ø, a Jesse installation sat in one room while Doon DJed in another, with Arca, Shannen SP, Mica Levi and Björk no less.
The newest of all the new faces, Loraine James inked a contract with Hyperdub in early 2019, purportedly following an eager hard sell by fellow producer object blue. As the north Londoner’s tastes arced from Deftones to Death Cab For Cutie and Dntel, James fell hard for the kinetic edge of IDM. Her first album for Hyperdub, ‘For You And I’, is an extension of the breakneck sound she has been playing out live, but with blown-out sonics and a forceful rap presence even more apparent on record. Squarepusher and Death Grips fans, this one’s for you.
For Belgium–born Nazar, conflict is no distant intangible, but something that his displaced family were rocked by. The Angolan Civil War, recklessly used as a proxy battleground for opposing sides in the Cold War, raged from the ’70s right until 2002, with skirmishes common since. Nazar takes Angola’s danceable kuduro and blanches the joy, filling the air instead with circling helicopters, assaultive percussion and thunderous dynamics. On last year’s ‘Enclave’, Shannen SP, who A&Red him, adds her Yorkshire lilt to Nazar’s Portuguese–sounding accent, tracing tales of families sheltering from air strikes. It is their way, Shannen says, of dredging deep wells of “black rage, a thing we share that we don’t even have to speak about, we just understand”.
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