Thursday 3 February 2022

Cartel Madras – Age Of The Goonda And Trapistan (2020)

We probably should have jumped on this when it came out; we honestly have no idea why we didn't. We've been huge fans of Cartel Madras since catching a set of theirs in the summer of 2018 - their unapologetically femme-forward, South Asian take on gangster rap is intoxicating and infectious. This tape (released on SubPop, the one-time home of Chixdiggit!) brings together the first two parts of their Project Goonda trilogy - a series which kept getting better (last year's The Serpent and the Tiger is one of our top releases from 2021). 

We have a hard time pinning down which part of Cartel Madras make them so compelling - is it seeing South Asian artists on stage? Their absolute bangers of songs ("Pork and Leek" is one of the best tracks to come out of this city in recent years)? The killer party vibe of their shows? Their work with the Sans Fuccs artists collective? How completely unapologetic they are for what they do? We're not sure which it is, but they've got us hook, line, and sinker.

We think this tape might be out of print already - the downloads are over at Cartel Madras' bandcamp, though.

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