Since they connected in Kampala back in 2019, Elvin Brandhi and Lord Spikeheart have been recording restlessly, developing a shared musical language that compliments their individual expressions. Both innovative improvisors motivated by the extreme potential of performance, they manufacture a synergistic shriek on their debut set, fluxing between jagged DIY noise, chilly sacred ambience, ratcheting hard dance and quirky leftfield pop. And despite their backgrounds, neither Brandhi nor Spikeheart have approached anything quite so piercing and direct. It's music that sits a few paces from the established timeline, doggedly avoiding contemporary trends and screaming hoarsely at passers by.
Born and raised in Bridgend, Wales, Elvin Brandhi has built a reputation for her virtuosic collision of rubberized freeform vocalizing and skillful, irreverent production. Since breaking out as half of father-daughter improv duo Yeah You when she was just a teenager, she's released a slew of acclaimed solo projects including 2019's Headroof recorded in Uganda with a host of Nyege collaborators. She has also collaborated with artists like Drew McDowall from Coil, Pat Thomas and Ziúr. Nairobi-based rapper-producer Lord Spikeheart meanwhile is best known for lending his unmistakable growl to Sub Pop-signed noise-metal duo Duma. Anyone who's seen their live shows will be acutely aware of Spikeheart's power on the mic, and he brings that same energy to this project, trading snarls and syllables with Brandhi over rasping industrialized detritus.
The duo's fierce vocal interplay is the heart of their collaboration. On Cruxify All the Prophets, Brandhi's guttural croaks appear to dematerialise into granulated electronics, transforming into emotional wails before Spikeheart's unmistakable death metal shouts writhe into the sunlight. Intermittently piped through electronics, the voices alternate between chilly cybernetic wails and sickly human spits and coughs, finding an unsteady balance between grindcore gutter punk and Atlanta street rap. Songs spark into life and then flicker into nothingness, switching momentum seemingly randomly before taking unexpected turns; DEATH CODE E666 is a terrifying noise lullaby that pivots into classical abstraction, Whiom8warwomb666 is a long-form rhythmic tongue-twister that oscillates through pneumatic dizziness into grotesque sound art expressionism, and Do You Like Feeling Awakeee33 reforms squelchy hyperpop into cogwheel whirrs and disquieting cackles.
Truly labyrinthine and never predictable, this partnership is a reminder that experimental music can be crucial and progressive without losing its vitality, or its wit.
1. Cruxify All the Prophets
2. Drunk in Love Hate!!!!!!!!!!!
3. Death Code E666
6. Do You Like Feeling Awakeee33 Cult 8 Again
7. Whiom8Warwomb5 Avecaffection 2