1: 17 July 2019
2: 31 July 2019
1: 17 July 2019
Smash a glass or crush a piece of fruit, and the debris explodes far beyond the object. Shards and juices form a ragged halo over the surrounding surfaces. This type of impact is rife throughout My World My Way, with kick drums smeared over the floors and walls, with dirty echoes lifted like startled dust, with distortion that bloats the percussive loops to the point of bursting. The album builds upon E-Saggila’s live performances, which explains why she allows bass frequencies to chew up the underside of choir pads, and why all of the oxygen seems to have been crushed out by claps and cymbals and ruined samples: this is a record that wants to smother my sensory receptors, cranking the volume until this lurching, clattering racket is all that I can see and understand. Even on headphones, I can only picture My World My Way spewing out of gigantic speakers and subs, the vibrations wreaking havoc on clothing and railings and walls.
In theory I could dance to this record – as commanded by the incessant throb of “Aziza” or the faltering jackhammer of “Pattern Obligation” – but what would that even look like? Given that the energy here is dangerously overcharged, the accompanying movements would have to threaten to break the body that carries them. Arms flailing like creatures trying to lunge out of the shoulder sockets. The head trying to throw itself into the floor. The torso quivering, ribs brittle, on the verge of breaking open into shapeless self-sacrifice. The sound ruthlessly hijacks listener volition, and suddenly I’m divorced from the safety of my own civil limits. For better or worse, E-Saggila now defines what is possible. Hypnotically volatile.
2: 31 July 2019
The record clearly intends to be too much. After all, behavioural moderation is a hallmark of civil obedience: a willingness to reside within the coded territory of “normal”, even if guttural instincts yearn to break through into states of excess. The paradox, of course, is that life in the digital age places us constantly at saturation point, fielding us too much choice, feeding us too much information, dousing us in too much noise. One must tolerate the ridiculous excess of the connected world, while at the same time curbing our own conduct within it.
The opening moments of My World My Way enact this cyclonic contradiction (voices garbled by intercoms, avalanches of digital detritus, the inane enunciations of a dozen internet videos) before E-Saggila enforces her own sorting process: a distorted pulse that bulges at the centre like a infected swelling. Rhythmically it is exact – bam-bam-bam-bam – yet it groans and convulses indulgently. High-pitched vocal samples chatter and echo over the beat, quivering like rice on a speaker cone. I feel myself being crushed in the margin between chaotic volume and regimented time. The same sensation hits me on “Stars Dying In Succession”, as overdriven strings and choir pads smear themselves into beautiful symphonic starlight while drums roll beneath like the post-impact cartwheeling of an obliterated vehicle chassis. Again, I nurture the nausea of chaos and refinement rubbing against eachother. The situation is not tenable, which is why My World My Way always seems to be blowing itself apart.