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Black Futurism

VINTERJAZZ, ALICE CPH, KØBENHAVN, 21. FEBRUAR 2020: Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, is a poet, visual artist and musician from Philadelphia. She’s part of the Black Quantum Futurism collective (BQF), a multidisciplinary collaboration between Camae and the activist Rasheedah Phillips. With a «Black futurist» approach to time and space, they explore the intersections of imagination, fiction, DIY-aesthetics, and activism in marginalized communities, focusing on the recuperation and preservation of black history, and stories.

As Ayewa explains it, Black Quantum Futurism is «a new language of healing, memory, and justice that can be transmitted and used as a technology».

In late 2016, she released her debut album, «Fetish Bones» on Don Giovanni records to critical acclaim, later next year she released «The Motionless Present», a collection of her unreleased poems and soundscapes. In 2019 she is out on Don Giovanni Records again, with her acclaimed «Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes».

A sonic black hole is a place where fluid moves so fast that it traps all sound.

To be entangled in its gravity is to feel the pressure of an unjust system. Analog fluids are resistance – individuals who work to create and preserve community in the face of immense darkness and cosmic pressure. Time is the obsession, Space is following.

Yesterday she performed on Alice CPH stage, in a packed dark room. It was not her first live act in Copenhagen, since she had the chance to bring to the Jazzhouse her unique set in 2017’s fall.

In the need of rendering her performance into written lines, I feel to go grammarly muddled as she did sonically. I loved the first part of her set, and Gospel looks like this in 2020 … this is what she taught us or at least to the ones who were curious enough to learn something.

In the last couple of decades many concepts, statements and bombastic words cross the music industry in order to define new movements, approaches and natural developing of sense and signification.

Black Futurism has a really high-flown sound, if spoken by people «without roots». Western guys and ladies who long to cling the fruit of freshness, love to dress-up their intellectual suits from now and then, but I’m afraid they can only get the shallow level. People like Camae Ayewa are true to themselves and true to their cultural heritage and they represent an authentic knowledge asset in a culturally weak planet.  Camea is eating brains for breakfast apparently, and I would love to see her dismantle the rich vocabulary of a music label manager (or a journalist) in a story-telling clash.

Soul music tracks, Gospel choirs, crunchy samples and huge bass bolts all at once.

A proper «two sets in one» for her live performance: the poetical and truly gospel first part, followed by a bassy beats and more uptempo final session. She is confident, loud, and speaks staright without fearing of offending “a bunch of motherfuckers” as she repeats pretty often. She is amazing.

Who has a story to tell, and has guts to do it, in a peculiar and unique way will last throughout time. Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother.

Text: Nicola Semprini
Photo: youtube.com

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