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#songoftheday / REVIEW: SAUL WILLIAMS: “BURUNDI” FEAT. EMILY KOKAL OF WARPAINT

Saul Williams is back with a fury on his new single “Burundi,” which is taken from his upcoming album  MartyrLoserKing, which is scheduled to be released sometime this July.  “Hacker / I’m a hacker / I’m a hacker in your hard drive,” he sing-speaks, or is he rapping?  That’s in the ear of the beholder, as Saul’s style is rather unique.  One thing is for certain, he’s bursting with contagious energy.  He also sounds very angry, but then anger and politics tend to go hand-in-hand and Saul’s music tends to be politically-themed.  Which, of course, is perfectly fine with me.  Much better to make music about important issues than, say, hos and money.

Emily Kokal of Warpaint delivers trippy background vocals here, helping to make the song the mesmerizing beauty that it is.  The way her voice interacts with Saul’s reminds me of early Tricky when he would have Martina Topley Bird singing behind his vocals, which were also unclassifiable.  The mix of Tricky’s husky male voice and Martina’s pristine female voice was always hypnotic and the same can certainly be said about the interaction between Saul and Emily here.  Bravo to them, then.

“Burundi is one of the 1st songs I recorded for MartyrLoserKing. I initially recorded it in Paris after returning from a month of travel through Senegal, Swaziland & South Africa. I focused on [the country] Burundi as I was studying the coltan trade & black market networks. Also because of the role of the drum/tambour in Burundi & how those drums became the backbeat for new wave… Adam Ant etc.I’m a huge Warpaint fan. Justin [Warfield] mentioned that he knew Em when I was playing him my demoes and I asked him to invite her to the studio. From there, she just sang along.” – Saul Williams

 

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Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

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