First Listen: NPLGNN – ‘Sonic Guerrilla’ (LavaLava)

Running six of his own labels including LavaLava, we can safely say Dan Davies knows labels and with them shows a borderless affinity with the weird and wonderful. The latest addition to LavaLava was pitched to me as, “a record of ruffneck acid-tinged dancehall punk.” i.e it is for the nutcases and soundboys alike.

The Neapolitan producer has featured on Davies’ Rewind Forward store recently, teaming up on a cassette with Dave Saved which was on an explorative, ambient tip. By contrast, this LavaLava release is volatile yet endearing in its bare-knuckle grit. If it ever had them, the seams from whence it came have long been burst.

Nowhere does it culminate with more ridiculous aplomb than in the record’s closing track, ‘Sonic Guerilla’. Starting up like the distorted siren on a sinking ship, reverb snares follow alongside the quicksand of an ever-dissipating bass. This hefty entourage is quickly built upon with unnerving belligerence and seemingly wanton abandon as militant rattle snares thrust it into more of a riddim. Whereas on the A-side, ‘Weaponized Riddim’, leaned toward dancehall more obviously, this holds the ruffneck hardcore and punk dearer. Many a sweaty basement and far reaching field will see limbs lost to this overwhelming number.

First copies of NPLGNN – Sonico go on sale via RwdFwd on Monday the 14th of May.

Words: Joseph Francis

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