Dada Shiva’s E55NCE album is an exploration of existence

When you read Dada Shiva’s thought process that went into making this album it all sounds like a heavy dose of obscure philosophical outlook.

Once you press play on E55NCE however, it’s an entirely different ball game, as Karabo Mokgatle explores his supposedly complex themes with the smooth fluidity of the well-versed man among us.

The 12-track album is about an hour long and takes a while to digest. “Ionizing Radiation” kicks things off on a technological vein, and “Doughboy” bring in a homely element with Sesotho vocals clinging around the edges.

The radio-static and reggae undertone of “Da Donn of Grimm Red Moon” takes a political and socialist slant and it one might be one of my favourites off the album.

Every opening sequence is an off-kilter sonic collage of opposing elements. He builds things with a cluttered fluency which somehow manifest into damn good hip-hop phrase work – and I still can’t figure out why it works.

This release is a whole lot of reflection, packaged in avant-garde trap-house. Try it on for size.