April 12th | DIYsolation Festival – Instagram
“Germ meets bat/bat meets pig/pig meets plate/plate meets human” – most artists have tried to distract in their lockdown livestreams. Instead, Lynks Afrikka goes on a road trip through it, performing quarantine release, ‘Pandemic’ as part of his contribution to DIY Mag’s DIYsolation Festival. Bold and on brand, it’s a neat slice of what has earned the producer/singer/drag performer his growing following.
Lynks Afrikka is the alter-ego of once-Bristol-now-London-based artist, Elliot Brett. Subversive and gleefully weird, there’s a loveable DIY spirit to the project. It incorporates a bricolage of club tropes, spoofing and venturing into what amounts to a deconstruction of ‘cool’. I’m not sure what to expect, but the set promised a contrast to the acoustic jams on the rest of the schedule.
I miss the start of the set thanks to an overloaded Wi-Fi router. Luckily, I’m able to get the stream working in time to catch Lynks mid-way through already iconic single ‘Str8 Acting’. All high-energy dancing, self-conscious asides and DIY greenscreen, the stream looks somewhere between a workout video and a homemade propaganda film. The song is acerbic in its commentary of heteronormativity and mainstream club culture, driving home the fact you don’t need a straight face and guitar to make a serious point.
Next comes ‘Pandemic’, which samples coughs and Boris Johnson’s pre-pandemic ‘everything is fine’ speech. It’s close to the bone and is carried through by its absurd packaging. There’s a memetic quality to Lynks, drawing on mash-up culture and internet humour – mixed in with more biting commentary – that this section of the stream captures well.
Only too soon we’re onto the final track, Lynks announcing a cover of Courtney Barnett’s ‘Pedestrian at Best’. Successfully reinterpreting it as a thumping electro track, the artist’s non-conformist attitude enables him to incorporate the song. There’s a pure sense of satisfaction in watching someone own an already-loved song like this. It should be no surprise that Lynks Afrikka suits this format so well: performance is at the fore of what Brett is doing. He owns the audience from afar, earning many a new fan in the process.
See the video for ‘On Trend’ here: