Metal Preyers - s/t LP
Label: Nyege Nyege Tapes
Edition of 300.
As Metal Preyers, London's Jesse Hackett and Chicago-based Mariano Chavez distill a sozzled, bleary impression of their time spent with Lord Tusk and a crack squad of Ugandan musicians in Kampala, 2019 for the indomitable Nyege Nyege Tapes. Documenting the result of six weeks of making music, art, and videos, and Waragi Gin-fueled rides into Kampala's nightlife, Metal Preyers takes form as an industrial/ambient film soundtrack for Chavez and Hackett's visual art produced under the Teeth Agency moniker. Joined by a full battery of traditional percussion and strings, plus the canny use of whistling and Lord Tusk's rude sound system sensibilities, the Afro-Anglo-Americano ensemble serve a triple AAA-rated trip that lures listeners into their intoxicated/intoxicating state of mind and effectively connotes the experience of a jag deep into the belly of Uganda's thrilling, sprawling capital city at a crossroads of East and Central Africa. It's not the first time Jesse Hackett has worked with Ugandan musicians – his 2017 album Ennanga Vision saw him teamed with electro-acholi stars Otim Alpha, Geoffrey Opiyo Twongweno, and Albert Bisaso Ssempeke - however the vibe this time is more psychedelic in a road-level, grimy and noisy style thanks to the expanded plate of inputs, including an all-star Ugandan roll call of Otim Alpha, multi-instrumentalist Lawrence Okello, percussionist Omutaba, and Rian Treanor-collaborator Ocen, all girded by the vital ruggedness of London underground don, Lord Tusk.
In their pair of "Dream Sequence" suites the album freewheels with delirious style, from mechanically musical drones in the title track to a quietly febrile conclusion recalling Craig Leon's Nommos. Bouts of melodically stressed noise give way to gin-steeped sing-song, chunks of chopped-&-screwed gristle, and dizzy clusters of Singeli-esque rhythm in a stop/start, unpredictable manner that frankly hasn't been done on record quite like this before. DJs will find ways of working this material into sets, although the album is really best swallowed in one for an intense, soundtrack-like experience that recalls the drunken rowdiness of films like Wake In Fright or a febrile Safdie Brothers flick set in Uganda, and speaks directly to the thrill of Kampala's atmosphere at night.