The chimerical, Portland-based soul/rap duo Neka & Kahlo remerge from summer break with a surprise release. The pair had anticipated a quiet end to 2015 as they pack their bags for a move south to Los Angeles next month, but plans change. Here they are with ‘Blood On The Moon’, a relentless epic inspired by Sunday night’s lunar eclipse.
The track opens like Kanye’s Flashing Lights, with Kahlo’s dysphoric bars placed over an isolated synth progression. Neka enters with Janet-like smoothness before reaching a verbed-out bridge a la The Weeknd. A bright chord change signals a shift in the moody ambience. The epiphany carries the track to a spaced-out hook that features fading samples cascading over lithe bongos, while Neka’s growling vocals conjure shades of the Rolling Stones.
Neka & Kahlo make music for everyone. Rather than latching on to some trendy sub-genre that critics can cheaply package as ‘something new’, the duo think of themselves as a vector for the convergence of all those sounds, rendering new labels meaningless.
“No (wo)man is an island, entire to itself”.
So what you hear is just the expression of their unique experience as women who refuse to conform to any one identity alone.
As the pair put it, “We pray to the goddess of many faces, in all her numinous forms”.