Album Review: A Tribe Called Red / We Are the Halluci Nation


The latest release from a trio of Canadian DJs, We Are the Halluci Nation, is a politically charged album of immaculately produced electronic dance music. The group’s combination of indigenous powwow samples with a variety of dance music elements have pioneered a new genre of music dubbed “powwow step.” And their latest album is just as innovative as their previous ones.

Album single “R.E.D.” perfectly encapsulates the album’s collaborative elements. Yasiin Bey and Narcy rap over the group’s quintessential drum beats, while a spoken word element drives We Are the Halluci Nation’s political narrative.

Other standout tracks include “Sila”, which effortlessly combines the Inuit throat singing of award-winning artist Tanya Tagaq with infectious and pulsating beats, and “How I Feel,” which features Anishinaabe musician Leonard Summer, alternative hip-hop broadcaster Shad and Atikamekw language drum group Northern Voice. The result is a joyous and high powered romp achieved by relentless drum beats and Shad’s earnest lyrics.

We Are the Halluci Nation benefits from far-reaching collaboration and incredible production, but it’s driven by a timely and upfront anti-colonialist message. This album is a landmark work for our trying political times — and you can dance to it.

[Kate Jacobson –@kateljacobson]

Image: Clash Magazine



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