In his new EP Stork, Moroccan producer 3xOJ fuses hip hop and electronic music in a project that sees him collaborate with fellow Moroccan rapper Al-Nasser and Ugandan musician Don Zilla, who offers a bounce-mayhem remix to the EP’s title track.
Released on Ugandan label, Hakuna Kulala, the Moroccan pair get the EP going with ‘Amikiri’, a glitch-hop inspired bass-heavy, hard hitting track, with hefty 808s hitting listeners’ ears, while an infectious lead and psychedelic panned keys produce a feel of mystery.The EP’s title track ‘Stork’, meanwhile, begins abrasively with a bass-heavy beat, using glitchy drums as well as instruments seemingly inspired from Gnawa sounds acting as its base. Its video maintains the sheen of enigma that coats the whole EP - the portrait-like compositions of its various actors, the resistant, occasionally sinister, poses and set-ups they're in feeding into the overall abrupt and aggressive nature of the track.
For the closing track, Don Zilla offers an aggressive remix of ‘Stork’, reversing vocals for the introduction and adding vocal chops from Al-Nasser to make it a more club-fitting production than the original. There are parallels to be drawn between the EP and the work of hip-hop experimentalists like Death Grips, in the intensity and abrasiveness of both. This by no means belittles the uniqueness and merit of what 3xOJ has done here, even if for the fact that it's come as a refreshing change to the more trap frenzy that has its grips on much of the region's rap scene.