welcome to the 60s…remixed



Favourite track: Maria

Unlike anything I’ve heard before…in a good way.

As someone who loves discovering UK artists, I was particularly interested in Brixton’s very own Alternative RnB/Dancehall artist, GAIKA. What really caught my attention was his latest album Seguirdad’s cover art that depicted a very neoclassical style sculpture of several bulls entangled and yet raging. It was very much a surreal image but full of movement too. Just by this cover art, I was very keen to listen to both the sound and the lyrics within this 9-track album. The title itself is Spanish I believe, translating to ‘security’, ‘safety’ and ‘certainty’.

The first track ‘Of Saints’ features Tayhana and opens with deep brass, electronic synths and vocal FX. The beat comes in possessing a mechanical, industrial quality and quickens as other lighter, dreamy instruments layer on top. The pace is slow, almost chugging along with a heavy bass to give it that rhythm. The lyrics glamorise the normal with lines like “there’s kings and queens on every street / there’s kings and queens with broken dreams” like he sees something the ordinary observer would miss. Omaar features on ‘Maria’ opens with a very club style synth typical of an Ibiza setting and then brings in a Dancehall beat that will really have you moving along with a melody on repeat that works very well to lift the song. This would be ideal for a night out in a hot country. The vocals are mumbled and unclear which creates this atmosphere of drunkenness. ‘Lord Zemel’ (ft. Lechuga Zafiro) opens with a chaotic collection of sounds and then a deep bass that gives it this powerful quality and steady rhythm.

‘Brutal’ opens with 80s synths, an intruding bassline and drum machine here and there. It then becomes very underground Dancehall with some auto-tuned vocal FX thrown around as a haunting sound echoes around the track. Lao features on ‘Kingdom of Slums’ which opens with almost a revving engine sound, varying in dynamics and then enters a dramatic percussion and synth effects. There is definitely a build in this song with pace whilst a slow, atmospheric vocal coats the song. I feel like this song would be great in a film actually – I don’t know why but it has that dark, chaotic, dramatic feel. ‘Iron Cut’ (ft. Wasted Fates) opens with bass and then random synth/electronic inserts until a harsher beat pushes through with vocals that echo in the background which then soon becomes a combination of Rap and Alternative whilst a piano plays here and there.

Lao features once again on ‘Wolfish’ which opens with electronic bass and then sharp synth FX that cut through the bassline, creating a very tense atmosphere. This one has a good beat you can move to. It’s got the power consistent with his other songs in the album. ‘Ecstatica’ (ft. Debit and Wasted Fates) opens with chimes, clicks, a stready Dancehall beat and echoes vocals – distorted and warped. It’s haunting once again but very interesting musically. The last track ‘Nine Nights’ features Omaar again which includes a more prominent synth and vocal work.  

You would have to play some of these songs at a Dancehall event at night underground to really feel this one.