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Yugen Blakrok

Roster / Marc Smeesters

Five years afterreleasingReturn of the Astro-Goth, Yugen Blakrok descends from the vastcosmos and delivers to the world an impressive lesson in style, with her second albumAnimaMysterium.

Far from the stars but heavy with their radiant wisdom; it’stowards Earth,humanity and the obscurity at its core that the South African rapper directs her incantations.Accompanied by Kanif the Jhatmaster’s beats, Yugen’s flow sows the frontiers of a worldwhere the subconscious frees itself and confronts man withhis most hidden secrets.

Yugen’spoetry has something Ovidian, depicting her as an agent of Metamorphosis, a reincarnatedgoddess in terrestrial form calling humanity to itself.“Why in the deepest darkness my soul beams like alanternEngineered in female form...silent carrier of theforceI'm a sandstorm in desert dunes, a shadow with atorch”Land of Gray, Yugen BlakrokThe osmosis between Yugen’s words and Kanif’s instrumentals comes across from the firstlisten. On Return of the Astro-Goth, the astrological ideas covered by the rapper found aperfect canvas in the mix of wind instruments, dub and electronic echoes from the beatmaker.

Here, Yugen lays hers flow over instrumentals of rock, jazz and even at times something thatsounds close to witch-house. The project, released under French label I.O.T Records, extractsthe essential oils from hip-hop as seen by the two artists, whose creative freedom and artisticintegrity contrast with the current rigid codes of the genre. At their sides they have rallied totheir musical odyssey artists from South Africa and the US, including hip-hop legend Kool Keithhimself.