Gaika Security

[Mixpak; 2016]

Styles: dancehall, road rap/drill, bricolage, grime
Others: Popcaan, Section Boyz, Arca, Mista Silva, Kelela

Security. Opens with jingling keys at a grating Hz, the skid of trains on skinned tracks, the drone of unremitting vigilance: I stand here, but it’s not the front line. If security is access to information, man does his own security, standing at the vantage of a badman. Watching from encrypted stance. In this place where the body is the hub, man is the node because: cocaine. And I stay awake because: cocaine. Drink Brandy and breakfast: cocaine. Security, seeing angles in the dark, innit? Club same as the road, same as the bando. Lanes hatching in the shadows, P’s and rocks and blood diffusing across chainmail handshakes. Because man see the big picture. Man know London got mad international currency, sonic and paper alike. Man know the roads don’t stop in London. Money like info, like bass, spread out from London on a Jamaica thing, on a Grenada thing, on a Chicago thing, an Atlanta thing. Just like the sirens are a real thing, the info is a real thing. Security’s on a grime thing, a roads thing, a dancehall thing, a drill thing. Worldwide, badmen switch codes like clothes. Shift bass like weight.

There is no nation to spur or grip a thing like Security. The ground is shaky, shape-shifting, the growl of pavement, the forced march of grub and cash on the roads. When I hit the streets/ Gotta get that/ But I just wanna be free. Shaky ground but man not shook. Synths a descent. The club descending an immanent violence, bones breaking sweat in a butterfly dance. Bodies unbodied by moving money. Secure inna Brixton lingo constellated on the skein of a fading globe: it’s Rihanna reemerging as the fully realized version of herself on a straighforward dancehall pop banger; it’s a Drake with a grime fetish and a BBK tattoo at a Section Boyz show in London; it’s Atlanta’s bando and Chicago’s DJ L-type beats germinating across UK hip-hop; it’s Brooklyn’s Mixpak putting out records for Kingston’s Vybz Kartel and Portmore’s Popcaan; it’s a neofuturist production ethic bred through localized styles in a manner to assert how the body feels the displacement of info, of currency, wherever it crops up.

A truer diaspora of blood not shared but shed. The club massages trauma out from the crevices of the dark, sublimates as a vulnerable commonality, in a sighing “Last Dance At The Baby Grand”: “Ballers and shooters and goons/ Dance in the same room/ People with nothing to lose/ Dance in the same room.” Security is, according to Gaika, “the anthropology of burner phones cast in gold, late night shebeens in the ends where everyone is drinking premium spirits in a brokedown flat.” Tracing an archaeology from the imprint of an alienated form. Digital, global, and so many shitpost words, but man’s flesh and blood really has nodes, and Security’s productions shuttle signals. “Keith Richards” split open with the skid of trains, tentative rave blasts like 1992, then a wall of brutal Sosa-esque dropkicks and derealized trauma smacks on a drill thing over and over and over again. One for the money and two for the thrill/ Any man can get dropped or killed/ Any man can get dropped in the deal/ I’m getting smashed like the world ain’t real. The trauma, the incommunicable, the sublime in-transit, is in the fact that this world is real. Info real, bass real, money real, sirens real, bodies real. Security is sometimes to be held in another body. Sublimed or subsumed, submissive, sub-register noise.

Because can you hear the rattle of trains, the swell of dread, the crackling cement, the sheeplike bleat of the self-taught drone, the keening bling of burner phones, the unbodied cries inna dance? How did I get here? GKZ: “Born a thug and I’m proud of it/ In the club and I’m out of it/ Drunk enough/ To not give a fuck/ Every badman/ Must turn up.” Dealing, to clientele, dealing, with reality, this way, like the world ain’t real. Security: access to information. But sometimes man would rather not know. Because once you know, the info moves through you, with you, compels. Yah must turn up. And at the drop of the coping, in the dealing, there is a skin-and-bone threshold. There will be blood.

Links: Gaika - Mixpak


Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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