On the cosmogonic track “Lithium Blast,” the group announces the release of its first eponymous album, resolutely futuristic and rooted in ideas of territory.
With an explosive debut album centered around dangerously contagious substances, HHY & The Kampala Unit unveil a disconcerting and bewitching sound. Pioneered by electro music producer Jonathan Saldanha (HHY & The Macumbas) during his Nyege Nyege residency, the band’s sound is a futuristic exploration of new territory, drenched in dub and techno and blended withtraditional percussion and ghostly trance elements. This is a visionary collaboration orchestrated by trumpet player and activist Florence Lugemwa, percussionist Omutaba and the Kampala Prison Brass Band.
In a dreamlike science fiction atmosphere, shaped by haunting rhythms and multicolored textures, a hyperrealist dramatic intensity is gradually brought to life. Perhaps the album title Lithium Blast is a reference to the Chinese project in Kampala – to produce 5000 electric vehicles per year starting in 2021 – a construction whose operation relies on lithium-ion batteries, a dangerous and flammable material that is harmful to the health of workers and their environment. This raw, energetic and virtuoso mix of electronic and traditional music reflects the current situation in Uganda, caught up in a desire to modernize at the risk of impacting its environment.
Lithium Blast will be released on October 22 via Nyege Nyege Tapes.