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Illa State Records
From the moment you hear the classical intro, you immediately know this isn’t your usual Akala album, production-wise at least….
From the moment you hear the classical intro, you immediately know this isn’t your usual Akala album, production-wise at least. Approached as a film rather than a music record, Akala explores the ideologies of dystopia with inspiration from Aphex Twin, Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead and Public Enemy.
‘Psycho‘, with its blend of Hip Hop, Rock and Classical is a track contradictory in content and seemingly in production. Who would have guessed that that concoction would work? Angry, fast and fighting for a cause but then suddenly mellow. The song mirrors Akala’s definition for DoubleThink; “to simultaneously hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time, to tell deliberate lies and to forget any fact the moment it becomes inconvenient.”
His clever observations of the lack of creativity and co-orperate manipulation in the music industry today make for brilliant lyrics t00. “Pop champagne, corporate chain, act like you’ve got no brain.” is a great one-liner on ‘What Is Real‘ and how about “The dumber you act, the bigger the cheer, the bigger the fool, the bigger the career.”
Lyrically, lead single ‘XXL‘ doesn’t say much. but is a party anthem much needed supporting the issues which ‘What Is Real‘ touches on. Again with ‘Yours And My Children‘ where he speaks about police in Brazil killing favela children, the release is a riddled with strong social commentary, something Akala’s witnessed first hand. But tracks like ‘Face Down‘, ‘I Don’t Need‘ and our favourite ‘Find No Enemy‘ poetically offer Akalas softer and diverse side.
In short this is a worthy return from one of the UK’s finest and most conscious artists.