DATE: Saturday, 01-10-2022
VENUE: Das Werk, Main Floor 02:00-04:00
Nkisi produces intense, powerful club tracks equally influenced by African polyrhythms, hardcore techno, and '70s Italian horror films. The London-based musician and visual artist is one of the co-founders of NON Worldwide, a collective of experimental artists from across the African diaspora.
After releasing several digital and vinyl EPs throughout the 2010s, Nkisi's full-length debut, 7 Directions, appeared in 2019. In 2020, Nkisi's new label INITIATION emerges with INT001, a 3 track EP melting rhythmic noise strategies with secret drum languages from Ancient Kongo traditions. As a fierce DJ, Nkisi channels 160+ bpm kick drums, metallic hectic percussions and hypnotizes the dance floor into a ritualistic transcendental space. Melika Ngombe Kolongo was born in Congo, raised in Belgium, and began using the moniker Nkisi after moving to London in 2012.
Gravitating toward the more aggressive side of dance music, yet maintaining a heavy emotional factor as well as a sense of dreaminess, she began producing music in addition to being resident at a club night called Endless. Her first releases, 16 and 21, appeared on Doomcore, the Hamburg-based label run by Low Entropy, in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Along with Chino Amobi and Angel-Ho, Nkisi cofounded NON Worldwide in 2015, and began appearing on the label's compilations. She began hosting a monthly program on NTS Radio in January of 2016, and composed music for installations and theatre performances held in several galleries throughout London and Europe during the next few years.
Her first vinyl release, Kill EP, was released by MW in 2017. During the year, she also curated the annual festival held by Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge, which was titled Opaque Poetics. Nkisi's EP The Dark Orchestra was released by Warp's long-dormant Arcola imprint after it was revived in early 2018. Her debut fulllength, 7 Directions, was issued by Lee Gamble's UIQ label in 2019. The album was inspired by the African cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, particularly the writings of Kongo scholar Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau.