Cut Hands belongs to a long lineage of white artists appropriating black art. (…) For a white artist to make a record and then claim it is the work of African musicians is to eradicate the work of black musicians.(…) This is not “afro noise” – this is a white musician plundering black traditions for his own purposes. Bennett’s work is nakedly colonialist, erases the work of black musicians, and shrugs at (and sometimes even indulges in) misogyny. (…) Bennett is not a fascist – the story is more complicated than that. Instead, he skips perilously between two roles: that of the attention-starved teenager desperately trying to get a rise, and that of the carefully considered adult happily reproducing fascist and misogynist iconography. Bennett is clearly not a paid up neo-Nazi, but his work has real and troubling implications, and exists on a clear continuum with that of Wakeford and Rice.
(…) Blackest Ever Black and Downwards happily welcome fascists into their orbits, and that is unforgiveable – but Bennett’s case is similarly troubling. Cut Hands is the musical equivalent of blacking up. For Bennett, Africa is a plaything; something from which he can snatch aesthetics while ignoring the ethical implications of what he is doing. Indeed, Bennett seems to think that he can divorce those aesthetics entirely from context. This is a pernicious and under-explored aspect of neo-colonialism.