GAIKA has been hailed as one of Britain’s most vital rappers. His confrontational music — and writing — is proudly Black, addressing as it does issues of the immigrant experience, gentrification and violence. It’s been called everything from gothic dance hall to industrial electronics for the way it distills Caribbean traditions and the contemporary sound of London, while he sees himself more of an afropunk with eyes very much on the future. Next to a full length and a number of EPs on Warp, this month he has collaborated with NAAFI affiliates on his new EP 'Seguridad' — which is out now —, while his collective The Spectacular Empire continues with its series of streams aimed at celebrating Black culture and raising money for Black causes.
Over the course of an hour on this week’s mix, GAIKA serves up a positive musical selection. There are times when things get impossibly smooth, but pained passages often follow. It means one minute glossy r&b and purple funk fest you up, then gorgeous original instrumentals and sombre strings bring you back down. Complex and wide-ranging, it’s a mix that goes way beyond club functionality, instead managing to tell the sort of personal stories that real mixtapes should.