Big Nuz know a vital thing about us and that’s this: In South Africa, as far as the rightly reversed bottom-to-top hierarchy of kwaito goes, where the context of origin is mostly the township or the tavern, which of course means despair and dilapidation, dancing isn't a legitimate activity without defiance. Or, to go further with it, without fighting. Which is what Big Nuz did with Undisputed and what they continue to do on their latest, Pound for Pound.
So let's get this out of the way. Big Nuz's latest album isn’t a departure from Undisputed. At least not from what worked. Sure, sonically Pound takes milder routes at certain points, crossing over to straight-laced mid-tempo (“Thina Sobabili”), Afro-house (“Ntombenhle”) and even Euro-electro (“Rockafellaz”); whereas Undisputed mostly kept to Nuz’s signature mecha-minimalism. Which, thankfully, isn’t missing here.
Big Nuz have a formula to their fight and they know this. They work with repetition and minimalism; and with deep- voiced, but lightly breathed chants; and then there’s also the background effects, the schoolgirl voices that tease and push you onto sonic dancefloors. None of it is incidental. Big Nuz always work hard to get this, their atmosphere, because it’s what marks them.
Pound for Pound is music made to uvul’isekile to. It’s about being cheered on from all sides with something icy in the veins, about the daily bullshit blurring away while you face off with a nimble, well-put-together lady. She’s killing you, of course—but wonderfully so—and with her meanest game face on.
Key Tracks: “Stingray”, “Ntombenhle”, “Rockafella”
Pound for Pound