The British Council’s Selector LIVE Party events bring the best UK music – from neo-soul and UK garage to dubstep and IDM – to Russian audiences.
On 28 January at the Powerhouse club in Moscow, Brixton-based Gaika performed from his new album, The Spectacular Empire as part of the programme of events for Selector PRO 2017-2018.
The album presents a vision of a future world in which authority has been removed and cities destroyed, a world where chaos reigns.The Spectacular Empire is a utopian nation comprised of a network of artists, philosophers, technologists and Shamans, strongly committed to focusing their professional endeavours towards the promotion and protection of the progressive human values and ancient magic.
UK musicians God Colony, Gage, Flohio and Covco performed alongside Gaika as part of his new project.
Flohio AKA Funmi Ohiosumah is British Nigerian Artist from Bermondsey. Currently working on her debut EP, Flohio is making a big impact in the music industry exploring genres and featuring with artists such as God Colony. She has supported artists like Princess Nokia, Clams Casino and Mura Masa.
God Colony are two producers who grew up and lived together in Liverpool while playing in bands and DJing together. Now based in London, the pair are collaborating with artists from as far and wide as Bermondsey, Boston, New Orleans, Tennessee and Tehran, giving their wild, head-spinning basement tracks a global sound.
In 2016, God Colony released the "Where We Were" EP, “a record that tells stories about cities and the lives inside them – this EP was created in Liverpool, London, Boston, and New Orleans, so we needed to communicate that sprawling, chaotic sense of place."
While the tracks from WWW hit underground clubs across London, they also gained a lot of support on radio from Mary Anne Hobbs, Annie Mac, Toddla T and Huw Stephens, who made “SE16” his Record Of The Week on Radio 1.
In 2017, they launched a four-part audio-visual series with NTS Radio, featuring Flohio, Stash Marina, Kojey Radical and BBYMUTHA. They collaborated with GAIKA and soundtracked fashion campaigns for Versace and Bally. Their live show is an uncompromising 60-minute soundsystem set, featuring a mix of their own tracks, unreleased material and club edits, hosted by Flohio.
A fiercely competent young DJ who blows away any room she plays, Cõvco is by far one of London’s most original and exciting DJs. Her sets combine a hi-energy mix of footwork edits and experimental dance music which often result in a frenzied dance floor experience. With recent explosive sets at the likes of London’s Tropical Waste parties and after party for the PAN ICA show, as well as a much anticipated set supporting RP BOO in London, Cõvco has an exciting year ahead.
Born out of his travels through the many global currents of contemporary London, GAIKA’s music is dark yet melodic, experimental yet catchy. While drawing strongly from his Brixton upbringing and his Jamaican and Grenadian heritage, GAIKA’s sound is ultimately expansive, seamlessly weaving musical motifs, vocal flows and slangs of UK, US and Caribbean music.
As both a vocalist and producer, GAIKA is as uncompromising in his politics as his sonics, intent on expanding and exploding the ideas of what contemporary black british music is. From his debut mixtape Machine in 2015 all the way to his Warp Records release Spaghetto, GAIKA is channelling the unique synthesis of the UK’s musical make-up, firmly at the forefront of a new London.
“Hear about London right now, and it probably sounds a bit bleak; the mass closure of much-loved venues, house prices that only the rich can afford, rising racial tensions and increasingly no help for the down-trodden. However, scratch away its surface, and the deep, dark, anonymous city remains brimming with fearless art, just as it always has done – a testament to what can bleed from a gaping wound."
Enter GAIKA: the underground artist making music fresh from Brixton, where he was born and raised. With a warped, electronic blend of grime, dance hall, garage, hip hop and R&B, GAIKA takes the sonic textures of the streets and crafts them into brand new, glistening shapes. “I like the idea of putting these organic sounds into a weird, mechanical space,” he tells me, and in his debut mixtapeMachine you can feel it – the hyper-real sound of South London being transformed into something alien-like and digital, and in turn, utterly unique.”
Gage is a London-born producer of jagged and experimental club music. His 2014 singles “Telo” and “Bad Bitch” (featuring Kevin JZ Prodigy) earned much acclaim. His sound intensified via 2015 remixes for Mr Mitch and dJJ.
The ferocious Mercury EP for Crazylegs, was firmly established as one of 2016's most incendiary entries. Gage's take on grime, ballroom and technoise has now emerged at a thrillingly urgent new juncture of UK / US dance music and deadly-focussed sound design.
2017 STAY PARO’ relays a complex web of abstract ideas and radical, blistering sounds that feed into the discourse surrounding post-Brexit realities in the UK; the project is influenced by the subject of disillusionment.
His music now offers terminal escape velocity for a swelling UK scene that's too often overly self-referential.