UnoTheActivist + Holly release new single, ‘Amusement’
Portuguese producer Holly might have set records in 2017, when he released over 600 tracks, culminating in him winning the producer battle at the Goldie Awards. Fast forward to 2020, and though his frenetic output might have slowed, his impact on contemporary dance culture is growing.
Dark Skies and Holy Grail smashes together Holly’s spheres of influence to produce a singular sonic blueprint that weaves through hip-hop, bass, drum n bass, trap, breaks and noise. It’s tender, but unflinching, pitching moments of beauty next to raw power. The mixtape speaks to Holly’s feelings while producing the record, many of his dreams were coming true, but were being realized, and written, under dark and uncertain skies. It’s a sentiment that feels universal right now and a body of work that fits the yoyoing nature of our everyday life.
Perhaps nowhere is this push and pull between dark and light exemplified more than on Holly’s collaboration with the late Mac P Dawg of Shoreline Mafia. The pair met in LA, writing Friday’s Night together in that first meeting. Two weeks later Mac P had passed away. A heartfelt conversation with his family led to the mutual decision to release the track, with all monies raised by the track going to Mac P’s family.
Elsewhere Holly guides us through the emerging Portuguese hip-hop scene, with four of its biggest stars coming together on All Stars. It’s a bouncy taste of Lisbon’s rap scene, and in conjunction with the album’s final track, Sunrise, leaves listeners with a taste of optimism and hope rather than darkness.
The mixtape also sees Holly unite with contemporary American rappers Uno The Activist, and OG Maco, South Korean rapper Ugly Duck, emerging Las Vegas singer Sebastian Reynoso and newcomer RahRah. Holly’s collabs weave a story of their own, the connecting narrative being Holly’s restless imagination and desire to push creative boundaries.
Dark Skies & Holy Grail offers a snapshot of what it feels like to be an emerging young producer in 2020; globe spanning collaborations that ignore genre borders, uniting spheres of influence that are at once universal and hyper local, and the push and pull of 2020’s unnerving highs and lows.