Series I by I 11.04.22

Fact Mix 854: Authentically Plastic

Authentically Plastic glides through disparate sounds with grace and purpose, exorcising restlessness in service of “free form femme fuckery”.

Authentically Plastic describes their sound best themself: “free form femme fuckery.” As a selector, producer, visual artist, performer, organiser and a “quasi-Marxist drag queen,” they have fast become an essential figure within the underground dance music scene in Kampala, Uganda, arguably the most important node in electronic music within the last half decade. Their legendary ANTI-MASS parties, which they host alongside comrades Nsasi and Turkana, the latter of which delivered an absolutely killer Fact mix earlier this year, have fast become essential spaces for total freedom and queer expression, embodying a philosophy of variety in both sound and community, bringing together a diverse gathering of people of wildly different genders, sexual orientations and backgrounds to move and sweat together – all within a city infamous for its conservatism and increasingly draconian legislation. Expanding into a queer collective, ANTI-MASS applies the same approach to the sound it explores as it does the parties it throws, moving freely between classic dance music, the contemporary club zeitgeist and more regional forms, such as singeli, acholi, and kadodi. “It has nothing to do with merging, or combining, but gliding,” writes Authentically Plastic for Borshch Magazine, “drawing a line between the two that is an expression in its own right.”

In their Fact mix, Authentically Plastic glides breathlessly with restless energy. Vocal chops are deftly threaded through hiccuping percussion, vampy synth lines charged with sexual tension rise above hard and fast polyrhythms, enveloping genres effortlessly within constant forward momentum. “It’s recorded in my usual eclectic style of mixing, featuring polyrhythmic and hypnotic strains of techno and hard dance, chopped up and sped up genge-tone vocals, my new obsession since my residency at Santuri in Nairobi in February and March, gqom kicks and vocals superimposed on techno, like I’ve always done. For me the goal has always been to make these disparate connections between sounds, but to still do it with a kind of thematic and technical coherence.” To glide is to exorcise restlessness, to move through music at pace while simultaneously amplifying the cultural and political motivations for such speed. As Authentically Plastic has explained it: “it comes from an unrest of how things are. Taking these sounds that are traditional and accelerating them an manipulating them is political in itself. There is a dissatisfaction with how things are and what is on offer.”

You can hear this tension in the accelerated Jersey club bed spring squeaks in Wilhelmina’s ‘Respirator,’ or in the sliced and sped ballroom ‘Ha’ crashes of T5UMUT5UMU’s ‘What’s Outside The Simulation?,’ classic motifs from the queer history of dance music recontextualised for faster, tougher times. Likewise it’s impossible to hear the dread-drenched, stomach churn of Ole Mic Odd’s ‘Blood Is A Buisness’ and ‘Get The Fffuck Out’ in this context without feeling the lethal resonance of their doom-laden vocal samples. This is all part of the texture of Authentically Plastic’s sonic weaponry, a conflict-ready context that is entirely intentional. “If you’re sensing darkness there, then it’s probably coming from this angst I feel towards the state, towards all these familial modes of social control, towards Western capital.” Far from allowing this angst to overwhelm and consume, Authentically Plastic channels this tension into a potently disruptive and emancipatory sound, surging forward through difficulty, in service of both restlessness and clarity of expression.

You can find Authentically Plastic on Instagram, SoundCloud and at the ANTI-MASS Bandcamp, where you can also find the collective’s essential debut compilation, DOXA. Authentically Plastic also appears on one of the best releases of the year so far with the track ‘Strakka’, which appears on Youth’s Y16th alongside Emma DJ and Toma Kami’s ‘Julia Bashmore’.

Tracklist:

Wheez-ie – ‘OG Deth’
Lord Tusk – ‘Simon Says…’
robogeisha – ‘Asitilsalisilik asit’
DJ HEADWOUND – ‘GATEKEEPERS REMORSE’ 
DMORE X KAPPY XSESKA X PARROTY – ‘NYONYA’  
Bézier – ‘Laboratory’
Wilhelmina – ‘Respirator’
Lostsoundbytes – ‘Rusty Tractor’
Animistic Beliefs – ‘Margiela Face Mask’
Ole Mic Odd – ‘Blood Is A Business’
ETHIC – ‘FYEKA’ 
GG Lobster – ‘Stars of Turmoil’
TonePadron – ‘Fired’
Bézier – ‘Telomeres’
Color Plus – ‘Da Back’
Cuban Chamber Of Commerce – ‘Goofing Off’
James Bangura – ‘Bad Mon Narrative’
Ole Mic Odd – ‘Get The Fffuck Out’
T5UMUT5UMU – ‘What’s Outside The Simulation?’
102 INTERN — ‘BLEND’
Phelimuncasi – ‘Ungabom Themba Umunutu’ [Prod. DJ Scoturn]
Wheez-ie – ‘Bak It In’
Seven Orbits – ‘Mantis’ (Zaliva-D Remix)
DJ Loser Xiao Quan – ‘Kawasaki Outrun’
NKISI – ‘VI’

Listen next: Fact Mix 853 – Jamz Supernova

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