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På skive


«New Future City Radio»

Chicogan vocalist-sampler player Damon Locks and trumpeter Rob Mazurek have joined their creative forces since the late nineties, and Locks was featured as a vocalist in Mazurek’s bands like Isotope 217 and the Exploding Star Orchestra. In recent years Locks is also known for his revolutionary, expansive latter-day gospel-jazz project Black Monument Ensemble.

New Future City Radio is the first duo project of Locks and Mazurek, who adds sampler modular synths, vocals and flute to hi strumpet and piccolo trumpet. It is a hyperactive 40-minute, 18-piece suite of sample-based sound collage with brass improvisation that runs like a boombox mixtape that contemplates issues like community, transformation, and the future through the programmatic format of a pirate radio station. The album is also filled with fractured radio transmissions, featuring contributions by vocalist Roberto Lange (Helado Negro) and percussionist Mauricio Takara (Sao Paulo Underground).

Locks and Mazurek tell about this suite: «I’m talking post, post, post, future. I’m talking resilience and levitation. I’m talking beauty and structural integrity for my people. I’m talking light beams that tell stories and educate. Let’s talk about that if you wanna talk new future!» Locks declares that New Future City Radio is transmitting from «rooftops unknown». The layered and dense collages alternate between bombastic and futurist hip-hop beats and more atmospheric pieces (check «The Concord Hour» and «Twilight Shimmer») where the beautiful, lyrical playing of Mazurek is more dominant. «Yes!» even echo of the legendary Bomb Squad (with Locks sounding a bit like a tape-delayed Chuck D on the vocals), and New Future City Radio reflects on the rich musical history of Locks and Mazurek and their formative musical influences. But eventually, this hyperactive suite motivates action and asks more questions than providing comforting answers, despite Locks’ optimistic tone and Mazurek’s promise: articulated as such: «Can forbidden harmonies extract utopian honey from canned fruit?! Will we sit and wait and watch while flaming egos and false prophets man the wheels of time? Action is the key. Can you do it?! Colossal beat… melodics hinting at a new dawn. Can You Do it? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!»

Eyal Hareuveni  

Damon Locks (voice, Roland SP sampler), Rob Mazurek (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, sampler, modular synthesizers, voice, flutes), Mauricio Takara (electronic percussion, percussion), Roberto Carlos Lange aka Helado Negro (voice), Brandi Augustus (vocals), Rosetta Carr (announcer), Andres Hernandez (announcer), Alain ‘Fusion’ Clapham (announcer), Brenda Hernandez (announcer)

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