Wukah has announced the release of his forthcoming debut album Flesh via In The Event Of Capture on 8th July. Originally hailing from Cork, Wukah aka Gavin Desmond now lives in London teaching music production as well as supply teaching at schools in deprived areas. His music is immediately inspired by his environment, both in subject and sound. UK and Future Garage influences are blended with breakbeat, nu jazz and neoclassical tones.
An authentic and multifaceted sonic meditation on the causes – and consequences – of inner-city violence, the lead single Flesh is out now and features real snippets of interviews with some of those affected by knife crime: from victims and perpetrators; to family members, police officers and social workers. Emotionally and melodically dense, Flesh strives to encapsulate the whole conversation – not just a singular voice or viewpoint.
The album opens with Intro, immediately enveloping the listener in an ominous urban soundscape, before Hollow Ground leads them further into the depths of the city; the sounds of crunching bottles and bins banging speckled throughout a melancholic breakbeat infused track.
From here, the album traverses across a seamlessly sewn patchwork of sounds, styles and not least abundance of powerful vocal samples. With tribal drums, wistful vocals and nervy synths, Play conjures mirrors the fear and anger bred in hostile environments, before Hidden Scars summons the feeling of being trapped; closing the track with the unmistakable beeping of a London bus siren as the doors slowly close.
Flesh starts its journey in darkness, before tracks like Discontent, Unknown to You, and Incognito guide the listener out of the night and into the dawn. Traditional UK Garage elements are blended with jazz and field recordings from a morning commute, as the album emerges from the dark into something sonically warmer. Although alleviated, the threat of violence remains a constant, with vocal samples speaking of petty gang retaliation and the breakdown of the relationship between deprived communities and law enforcement underpinning the tracks.
The sun sets once again to track number eight. Titled Sleepwalk, a heartrending solo piano melody is layered with faint, chopped spoken samples, mirroring the internal inane chatter that can keep us awake at night; replaying conversations and arguments that make less sense as the night drags on. Flesh, the album’s titular centrepiece is an intensely emotional track, driven by the grief of a mother mourning for her son after he was murdered for reasons she will never fully understand.
Out of the Green provides a moment of hope. Upbeat melodies and lush percussion undercurrents a striking vocal sample: “We’re all the same.” The album comes to a close with Last Breath. Inspired by a conversation had with a student, the track uses samples from throughout the album slowed down and processed; a life flashes before your eyes as a poem titled ‘Unknown To You’ is delivered by its author, Paloma.
Speaking on the forthcoming album, Wukah said: “I wanted to create an album from my perspective as an educator, on the far outside of the inner circle; never a victim of knife crime, but close enough to be emotionally and empathetically affected by it. Ultimately I wanted to recognise that there are multiple voices in any given conversation and we should all learn to listen to every one of them – because everyone is fighting their own battle that no one else sees.”
In addition to teaching in schools Wukah also runs the Hollow Ground Productions YouTube channel where he posts ‘In The Style of…’ videos on how to make electronic music in Ableton Live and works on a 1 to 1 basis with aspiring producers.
In The Event of Capture is a flourishing Glasgow-based record label operating out of Govanhill in the city by We Should Hang Out More, focusing on narrative driven electronica from producers across the globe.
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