TKG Music 005: Kuma – What It’s Not
A) Kuma ft Juakali- What It’s Not
AA1) Kuma ft Amalia- Fall
AA2) Kuma ft Juakali- What It’s Not (Grievous Angel Remix)
Canadian dubstep pioneers The Konspiracy Group celebrate ten years of bass science, ambient drift and sound system thought with their fourth release and second twelve inch, “What It’s Not” by Kuma.
“What It’s Not’ stands as the Konspiracy Group’ firmest statement to date, an uncompromising slab of heavily swung dubstep that sounds like nothing else rocking dance floors today. Strings and chimes straight out of Detroit meet one of Kuma’s finest basslines to date and a rhythm that invokes the swing of classic Zed Bias and the grime of classic No-U Turn (or should that be, Turn U-On?).
Carrying on the vast tradition of vocal versioning that runs back to the early days of sound system culture, we took Kuma’s rhythm and gave it to two of our favorite voices in dance music today.
After hearing his work alongside the mighty Sub Swara crew, as resident of New York’s legendary Dubwar night and as a solo artist of serious flex, it made sense to hand What It’s Not to the voice of North American dubstep, MC Juakali. Using the base of reese bass and strings as a platform, Juakali has laid down one of his most affecting vocals yet, striking both heart and head with this distinct rallying cry.
Straight out of Stockholm via Vancouver, Amalia is one of our dearest friends and fresh off the release of her album “Art Slave” on Tokyo Dawn as well as beats with Opolopo, At Jazz, Domu and Afronaut. Taking her multi-octave range and sweeping tones straight to the heart of the rhythm, Amalia has reinterpreted it as “Fall,” a love song for not only the dance floor but the people you meet on it.
We have long been fans of Sheffield’s Grievous Angel, one of the few artists out there really linking the lineages of noise and industrial with UK Bass/sound system culture. So for us, asking him to take a swing at Juakali’s versioning of What It’s Not made perfect sense. We got back was a 2-step remix as ornery as Throbbing Gristle making acid house, as rough as Kingston sound system rhythm and swinging as any classic Horsepower track.
After a decade of continuing to fight against conservative thinking in electronic music, it’s a package that stands firm to that belief, informed by the lessons of history, looking to the future and once again mastered at Transition for maximum damage.