All the way from Brixton in the UK, the dystopian style of Gaika will be greeting South Africans and Malawians for the first time in February. A childhood surrounded by various forms of tech and scientific innovation fostered within, Gaika’s current mode of production inspired by the digitization of humanity.
Gaika’s sound can be compared to that of a future voice whispering profanities – barely out of reach. What is organic has become a ghostlike digitized chaos devoid of humanity. Like a Black Mirror episode Gaika’s message is one of grimness and disillusion.
His unapologetic worldview has been compared to the trip-hop of Tricky, and he has been deemed electronic music’s answer to Basquiat. The background noise of a post-millennial existence is given a sound track. These are the sounds of human failure, surveillance, violence, terror, masochism and exploitation all strewn together to create a seamless sound broken as the broken world that Gaika sees and contests with his music.
Titles such as ‘BATTALION’ featuring Miss Red and ‘BLASPHEMER‘ act as piercing commentaries on modern society. Collaborations with artists such as Israeli MC Miss Red known for bringing ‘Murder’ to beats speak of the idiosyncratic nature in which he chooses to execute his message of doom and despair that is only strengthened by the collaborations he partakes in. In an interview with Dazed he expresses, “How can we make art that isn’t political when you go out of your house in London and you see two or three homeless people by a cash point, and people like me are getting killed by the police. What are we doing as artists?”
Music that inhabits the industrial space pertain to a machine fetish. Gaika should however not be mistaken as a pessimist – instead he is a realist and depicts the world for what it truly has and is becoming. “I prefer to express the darkness of reality. I’m a ‘night’ person in that sense,” he tells Dazed.
At the end of 2017 the artist released The Spectacular Empire I and II that included his ‘BATTALION’ soundtrack. Perhaps it’s time to fight the machine, or will we become one with it in a world where minimum wage jobs are dying out and the friendly person at your local McDonalds is slowly but surely being replaced by an automated system. Making poverty soar at an all-time high. Let’s join Gaika on his tour in solidarity with a world that is losing its humanity.
Kitcheners, Johannesburg: 8 February 2018
The Waiting Room, Cape Town: 9 February 2018
Grittah’s Camp, Lilongwe (Malawi): 10 February 2018