If you haven't heard of Chrisman yet, in 2021 that's all about to change. The rising Congolese producer is one of East Africa's most low-key innovative talents, firing off tracks that tear down the borders between ggom, taraxina and Afrohouse. He's currently at the helm of the Nyege Nyege/Hakuna Kulala studios in Kampala, and judging by the sounds presented his debut EP "Ku Mwezi", it's easy to hear why.
"Ku Mwezi" is the Congolese producer's chance to express his expertise at constructing unique ggom and trap influenced Afrohouse mutations. It's a set of moody dance-floor weapons that fuse the late nite darkness of ggom with trap's trunk-bumping low end and the rhythmic swing of Afrohouse.
Opener 'Hewa' sets the bar high, welding Ibiza synths and rushing pill-munching white noise blasts to blood-curdling drones and squelching, breathy percussion. 'Mlinzi' expresses Chrisman's dark side, as he knocks holes out of the gqom template, pushing airlock atmospheres into the gaps, while 'Mada' expresses his love of trap, with rolling kicks punching through a blanket of scraping industrial noise.
On the title track, he links up with Cairo's Yunis, an influential producer who has an experimental take on the Egyptian Mahraganat dance mode. It's a perfect union of sounds: Chrisman's unsettling atmospheres and innovative rhythmic tweaks balance Yunis's Egyptian percussion and microtonal warbles, resulting in a slithering downtempo banger that reverberates through the African continent.
****BOOMKAT PRODUCT REVIEW*****
A new addition to the Hakuna Kulala family, Congolese producer Chrisman torches the borders between gqom, trap, taraxina and Afrohouse on his debut release 'Ku Mwezi' - a potent club cocktail that's one part Slikback, one part DJ Lag and one part DJ Plead = next gen dancefloor futurism.
Erupting in a haze of trance arps, gqom-influenced kicks and convulsing synths, 'Hewa' is an apt introduction to Chrisman's musical star system. Currently the in-house engineer at Nyege Nyege's villa studio - having recently replaced Don Zilla - he brings serious technical knowhow to the kind of cybernetic next-wave intensity familiar from Kenyan wunderkind Slikback, slowing gqom to a ruff crawl, cross pollenating it with Atlanta trap and double-timing it into frenetic hard dance.
The title track offers a curveball; a collab with Egyptian mahraganat alchemist Yunis that evolves from a molasses-slow Cairo template into eerie, synth-led 2CB nightmare fuel. It's a midpoint between 3Phaz's furious electro-mahraganat hybrids and Jasmine Infiniti's aerated, midnight electronix, but without any easy payoffs. 'Lamuka' and 'Mukwano Gwange' lock into a Durban rattle, slicing into the template and introducing weightless vocals and synths, anxious percussion and nauseous atmospherics.
Chrisman once again demonstrates East Africa’s rich seam of delirious club invention. The Hakuna/Nyege axis is basically untouchable, still.
Club explorations from the East African and Congolese Electronic Underground and
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