The new live project Nihiloxica brings together the indigenous percussion group Nilotica Cultural Ensemble, the British drummer Spooky J, and an analogue synth player for a contemporary, hybrid take on traditional Buganda and Busogo sounds from the Kampala region of Uganda.
The collaborative project appears via the newly launched label Nyege Nyege Tapes, a Kampala-based label established in January 2016 to “explore, produce, and release” outsider music from East and Central Africa and the same brains behind the annual Nyege Nyege Festival. Both the label and the festival showcase a wide range of underground trends in African music, from kuduros, kwaito, Afro house, hiplife, Tuareg rock, and cosmic synths from Niger to Arab tech, Morrocan bass, zouk bass, soukous, balani, funana, Swahili trap, and Tigrinian blues.
Nihiloxica, i.e. the expanded version of Nilotica, formed just weeks before the Nyege Nyege Festival in 2016 but made lasting impressions on both the audience and NTS Radio. Thereafter, the band spent months rehearsing and experimenting to develop exciting new material that explores the vibrant crossroads between traditional Ugandan rhythms, Western kit drumming, and analog electronic sounds. Nihiloxica’s CTM performance marks the November 2017 tape release of the project on Nyege Nyege. The album was recorded in single takes in Kampala. It features Mwanje Jamiru on Djembe, Kasooma Henry on Namunjoloba (small tom drums), Aineomugisha Alimansi on shakers, Isabirye Henry on Bakisimba (bass drum), Kalanda Peter on Binghi, Galabuzi Edward on Engalabi (long drum), Kayondo Herbert on Engalabi, Peter Jones on synthesizers, shaker, and cowbell, and Jacob Maskell-Key aka Spooky J on drum kit.