DOOKOOM will freak you right the heck out
Author: Simon Feser
What happens when you let a mob of tik-fueled psychos armed with scissors, broken bottles, dolls, and buckets of blood into a room full of computers, microphones, and pissed off fans? A DOOKOOM show happens. Made up of front man and MC Isaac Mutant, DJ and hype man Roach, producer Human Waste, singer L i L i † H, and visual artist spo0ky, DOOKOOM is a terrifying force to be reckoned with.
Spo0ky is creepy enough on her own; as the artist behind the band’s visual identity, she’s the architect of much of the band’s weird, frightening style. A fan of blood, bottles, and blades, she also runs the projector, the lights, and even the stage set-up and installations. L i L i † H is an important part of the aesthetic as well. Wearing one of various full-face masks or veils almost constantly, she’s crafted a perfectly blank, amorphous face for herself.
“Why do you want to see my face?” she asked the City Press. “Just listen to my voice.”
Human Waste, a British producer who has experience with many successful South-African Hip-Hop crews, grew tired of the old-school beats he was working on. He found like minds in Roach and Isaac Mutant, both fringe music veterans who had also gotten tired of tried-and-true music.
Roach and Mutant, despite being the faces of the band, are somehow the most mysterious of the lot. They’ve run with some of the hardest gangs in Cape Town and Mitchell’s Plain with Roach playing the role of Mutant’s bodyguard. They have multiple tapes and tracks that are hugely influential in the underground South-African Hip-Hop community. Mutant even has a feature on Die Antwoord’s first album.
Whereas Die Antwoord is as much an ongoing performance art piece as they are a band, DOOKOOM is as far away from being “art” as they could get.
Human Waste said to Noisey, “Isaac is authentic and Ninja is an art construct or whatever.”
As if to prove his authenticity, Isaac Mutant raps in a combination of English, Afrikaans, and a language born in apartheid-era prisons and ghettos called Sabela that’s used primarily by Coloured gangs. This gang background shines bright when you look into DOOKOOM’s lyrics.
Most of the songs are either about tik (a sort of cheap, badly made meth), cocaine and alcohol, or they’re extremely anti-establishment and anti-apartheid. Most of the latter seem to encourage violence and revolution but are really intended to spark conversation and debate.
One of the biggest groups to take the opposing stance in the conversation is AfriForum, a minority-centered civil rights group that actually focuses on the interests of the post-apartheid white minority. AfriForum recently called for the censoring of DOOKOOM’s music video for the song “Larney, Jou Poes,” which roughly translates into “Hey boss, fuck you, you cunt,” complaining to the South African Human Rights Commission that it consisted of hate speech.
Musically, DOOKOOM is freaky, isolating, and awesome. They combine piercing synths with growling, harsh bass, and skewed, off-tempo beats with unrelenting lyrical flow that all comes together to create driving, aggressive, and catchy tunes.
Mutant’s rhymes sound like they were written in Hell, and his voice comes from lungs that are rough and ravaged by years of abuse. Roach and Human Waste bring trap influenced beats that mix perfectly with witch-house inspired electronic accompaniment. L i L i † H and spo0ky round off the group perfectly with L i L i † H’s haunting vocals and spo0ky’s claustrophobic, isolating visuals.
All in all, the band has crafted one of the most fucked up, drug fueled, aggressive, and scary identities that can be found around the world. Play them at your Halloween parties, and watch your guests freak out, or listen to them at home alone and freak yourself out.