A powerful set to mark the release of GAIKA’s new record, Seguridad, filmed at 180 The Strand.
For the first in a new series of live sessions filmed behind closed doors by Fact at 180 The Strand, we invited GAIKA to perform a special set to mark the release of his new record, Seguridad, which was recorded in Mexico with NAAFI artists TAYHANA, Lao, Debit, Wasted Fates, OMAAR, Zutzut and Lechuga Zafiro.
“I planned to tour together with NAAFI artists after a residency in Mexico but COVID put pay to that idea so I decided to make something that incorporated the new music in an interesting way,” GAIKA says. “I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. I guess I wanted to mix the philosophy behind the album with how I feel right now in an interesting way.”
Seguridad, which translates into English as “security”, has a dual meaning – it suggests security as safety, but also carries suggestions of authoritarianism. “I’m exploring the duality in the record,” GAIKA says. “Are the fences and guards there to keep ‘us’ in or ‘them’ out? I guess in some ways I see clubland as a microcosm of society and there’s a lot going on in Seguridad as there is transatlantically as power shifts south and east. The war on drugs, the war on gangs, the war on terror etc.”
“This constant abstract enmity and escalation of violence for profit – to me it’s a double standard that comes from the same inherent insecurity soaked into velvet ropes and champagne flutes everywhere. I see this as a sequel to 2016’s Mixpak release Security. The record even in its conception is about a new reality perhaps with a different geometry than what people expect or are comfortable with. These are simple records about complex things.”
Like all artists, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected GAIKA in adverse ways. “The music side of my business has entirely fallen apart financially,” he says. “It’s a disgrace really, there’s a lot of money in the music industry, right now most artists are eating dust whilst the suits sit tight. Festivals not honouring deposits and all that sort of fuckry.
“I got sick early on, thought I might die and in some ways it inspired me to act though – independence is key so now I’m on some Suge Knight/techno villain mission. With independence comes artistic freedom for sure also.”
GAIKA’s powerful live performance, which also features visuals made by GAIKA and Rob Heppell in London and China, comes shortly after the launch of Nine Nights, a streaming series hosted by his label The Spectacular Empire to support Black artists and culture in the wake of the pandemic and recent Black Lives Matter protests.
“I saw a protestor wearing a T-shirt that said ‘we are the descendants of the slaves you couldn’t kill’,” GAIKA says of the recent protests. “To be honest I don’t think there’s any pretending any more, no more fake nice nonsense – I think that’s the lasting change, no more pretence.”
Nine Nights recently filmed a Berlin edition with artists including DJ Stingray and Nkisi, and continues next month with “something dope planned for carnival”. Donations to Nine Nights are distributed between Black artists and crew, and Black-focused charities such as Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation.
Seguridad is available now on Bandcamp.