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Kilamanzego joins ZenSupremacy roster, releases meditative track “Myth of the Groove”

Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist

Philly audio collager and beatmaker Kilamanzego recently made her debut on the Amsterdam-based label / collective ZenSupremecy with a new track called “Myth of the Groove.” Opening with spacious beats and haunting atmospheres in line with a vintage Aphex Twin joint, Kila kicks it into gear at the 40 second mark with an 8-bit melody, alluring pops and synthesizer moans, and an occasional rhythmic “AYYYE” interjection. It’s a 2 minute 40 second jam that brings you up in the same breath as it mellows your mind. Continue reading →

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Kilamanzego chops up a Tierra Whack favorite on her new single “red light green light.”

Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist

If you’ve ever caught Philly rapper Tierra Whack in concert, you probably walked away with the hook to “Toe Jam” rooted in your noggin; “CRACK KILLS IF IT DON’T GETCHA WHACK WILL.” The song had the same effect on Philadelphia soundscaper and beatmaker Kilamanzego, who chopped up the hook and folded it into her latest musical collage, “red light green light.” Continue reading →

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Let Kilamanzego put you into a trance with her new single “laughter in the sun showers”

Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist

From playing bass/guitar in various hardcore punk rock bands to entering the trap world, Philly’s Kilamanzego, has gone beyond the boundaries of genre with her unprecedented skills behind the screen. Much of mainstream trap is cookie-cutter and can be created with just a simple formula. Kila takes a unique approach in order to create sounds that provoke your senses and leave you in a trance-like state. By going against the grain, Kila has established herself as one of the most creative musical minds in Philly. Continue reading →

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Strawberry Runners, Mannequin Pussy, Kilamanzego, and more will play Get Better Fest 5

Get Better Fest 3 | photo by Jeff Hersch | courtesy of Get Better Records
Get Better Fest 3 | photo by Jeff Hersch | courtesy of Get Better Records

On Friday, Get Better Records announced the full lineup for their annual festival, Get Better Fest, set to take place the first weekend of May this year. The full lineup features artists Strawberry Runners, Mannequin Pussy, Kilamanzego, Whelmed, Augusta Koch (of Cayetana) among many more. Continue reading →

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Navigating Sound: Kilamanzego on the journey from hardcore punk to experimental beatmaking

Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist

From the opening notes on “Picking My Kalimba from a Distance” with its bright, high-pitched samples and tribal stutter-step, the listener can tell that they’re not just in the presence of a beat-maker: they’re witnessing magic by Philly’s Kilamanzego.

Imagine a dusty warehouse in West Philadelphia, stocked to the brim with old, rusting pianos, pitbulls with mange and orange bandanas, and a whole lotta white people wearing black clothes and rocking dreadlocks. This was the scene when I first heard Kilamanzego cast auditory spells, lifting the crowd with euphoric organ swells only to pummel them with roaring bass drop after bass drop. That night, Kilamanzego — armed with Ableton Live triggered from a laptop and an infectious energy — wasn’t just playing a beat set; they were opening portals to realms from which I don’t think I’ve ever returned. And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying: that sounds like a lot of music guy talk, and the big lofty words volleyed about to describe what’s being thrown down don’t impress you. The thing is, while that performance might have been a welcome surprise — that so much powerful, trance inducing sound could be conjured by a petit yet tough former hardcore punk, black girl in a west Philly punk rock basement — Kilamanzego’s next performance I witnessed? It was a revelation. There is no doubt that we are dealing with one of Philly’s most creative musical minds.

And for Kila, it’s a long time coming. Kilamanzego has created a tightly wound catalog of entrancing beats, mini-séances that invoke both their time spent toiling in Philly’s underground and their Ghanaian roots. At once tribal and atmospheric, Kilamanzego has etched new sounds on the beat-based landscape. With their series backyardbxss that they curate as part of the smth savant collective, they’ve helped cultivate a movement that bridges scenes and communities in the spirit of Hip Hop. For Kilamanzego though, that spirit doesn’t seem to want to be tamed. With a hypnotic new single called “Stay Floated In The Tribe” out this week and upcoming shows including Get Better Fest at the First Unitarian Church, we sat down with Kila to discuss beats, life, and sonic ritual texture. Continue reading →

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Kilamanzego just dropped a strange and magical new single

Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly experimental electronic artist Kilamanzego just dropped a new single “picking my kalimba from a distance.” First of all, I love this; this song is a weird, magic, dope blend of alluring synths, minimal percussion, electronic noises, and bass that you feel as much as you hear. The song takes you on a ride as it progresses, adding and subtracting layers before a graceful fadeout. Soundcloud user Love Junior encapsulated my thoughts on the song with the comment “You a weird and talented mf. Love this.” Continue reading →

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Madam Data teams up with Kilamanzego for Like Daggers

Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist

Electronic artist Madam Data paired up with beatmaker Kilamanzego to bring some old tracks to life in the form of the new split EP Like Daggers. The split is the debut release from smth savant, a local artist collective and DIY record label. Both artists dug through old material to put together the four track collection, writing on bandcamp that “Like Daggers is a fucked up mish mash of wonky, experimental, and ambient bleep bloops representing this mess of a world we live in and the struggles K and MD have faced in the name of creativity.” Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Raphael Saadiq, Beach House, The Hold Steady, #XPNFest and more

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

Well, first and foremost, there’s #XPNFest. I mean, duh. Three days, 32 bands, BB&T Pavilion and Wiggins Park, etc. etc. Highlights including David Byrne and The War on Drugs are shouted out below, full details at XPNFest.org. Know what though? This summer in Philly has been the summer of redonkulous concertgoing options, this week is no different, and we here at The Key would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t let you know everything else that’s going on. Read on for our full roundup of picks: 22 concerts to see in and around Philadelphia for the next seven days. Continue reading →

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The All Mutable Summer Jam will push things forward with two days of experimental sounds this July

Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist
Kilamanzego | photo by Manny Arocho | courtesy of the artist

For the past couple years, local booking and promotions collective All Mutable has been throwing shows with some seriously stacked lineups with boundary-pushing, genre-defying artists. Their latest endeavor is no exception. Happening over two days in late July, the All Mutable Summer Jam will bring together 15 artists across two locations.

The lineup for the first night, July 27 at Lacquer, includes Philly’s own 700 Bliss, plus Container, Dreamcrusher, Swan Meat, Deli Girls, Beau Mahadev, and Collar. Day two at PhilaMOCA on July 28 will bring Chicago electronic musician and footwork pioneer RP Boo to the stage, plus NYC-based artists Sporting Life and YATTA. Also in the mix, all the way from Japan, is experimental electronic producer Foodman. But there are also quite a few locals lined up, too — including beatmaker Kilamanzego, NAH, Ada Babar, and Palm’s vocalist/guitarist Kasra Kurt. Read more about the artists via R5 Productions, read more about All Mutable in this interview with The Key’s Alex Smith. Continue reading →

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With chimes and drones, Madamdata explores the emotions of empty space on a thick band of orange light

Madamdata | via madamdata.bandcamp.com

Experimental Philadelphia artist Madamdata, a founding member of the SMTH Savant electronic arts collective alongside Kilamanzego and others, first caught our ear last summer with a moving meditation called Four Short Stories in Curved Space​-​Time, a live set recorded in Singapore and dedicated to the memory of their friend Julia Caplan.

Madamdata’s new project, a thick band of orange light, is their first full-length release since then, and it’s an expansive and stirring collection of sound. Continue reading →