With a spiritual blend of sonic poetry, industrialised noisescapes, free jazz, and experimental hip hop, Camae Ayewa’s Moor Mother confronts Europe’s intermittent relationship with Africa that challenges historical and current societal preconceptions.

Release date: March 8, 2024 | ANTI-records | Facebook | Bandcamp

Camae Ayewa is more commonly recognised by her stage persona Moor Mother, her music epitomises political and social vexations within modern America’s post-industrialised disillusionment. Her artistic expressions are heavily rooted in historical inequalities concerning slavery, postcolonialism, race relations, and Afrofuturism which can be encrypted through her experimental hip hop inspired poetry, ancestral sampling and sonic leanings, and industrialised free jazz compositions. Moor Mother’s output sends shock waves into experimental music that confronts the current political and societal systematic division that has grown throughout much modern Western and non-Western civilisations. Since 2016, Ayewa has kept thoroughly engaged with her artistic outputs releasing a total of nine studio albums as Moor Mother, whilst simultaneously co-leading the free-jazz liberation collective Irreversible Entanglements. The Great Bailout comes as the artist’s latest full-length record and expands on the postcolonial relations between Europe and Africa defining connections between the past and present.

The record features a range of guest artists, who all apply their own sonic intricacies and blending to each of the tracks. The opener “GUILTY” is a delicate piece featuring the musical support of Lonnie Holley and singer Raia Was. This nine-minute hallucinogenic experience soulfully combines mysterious dreamlike textures with spiritual poetic articulations that drive us into this retelling of European colonial history. “ALL THE MONEY” takes a rather eerie textural shift which enlists the support of Alya Al Sultani to confront the oppressively corrupt and somewhat violent realism behind the founding of postcolonial civilisation. The record further applies certain sonic signifiers and sample efforts to elevate the significance of African culture within modern society. “GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (feat. justmadnice)” features facets of experimental hip hop beats and noir-like jazz textures whilst conveying a sardonic message of repression for the marginalised through the monarchy’s historically tyrannical rule.

Ayewa further attempts to deepen tension both sonically, through bass-infused drones and noise-escalated industrial soundscapes, and verbally through satirically evocative poetry exploring the oppressive backbone of Europe’s slavery ties and colonial propagation. “COMPENSATED EMANCIPATION” expands on these haunting textures in a terror filled industrial soundscape that features the gospel infusings of Kyle Kidd to covey unspoken truths of Black oppression and brutality. “DEATH BY LONGITUDE” is a deeply experimental track to follow which applies elements of sound design and field recordings featuring the sounds of chains and metal to communicate the horrors of the slave trade and the exploitive operations that many European domains are responsible. “MY SOULS BEEN ANCHORED” is a shorter track with defining elements of Delta style blues and snippets of slave work chants to fill the uncomfortable ambiences for the album’s mid-point.

“LIVERPOOL WINS” allows Ayewa to delve deeper into the often-unspoken history that explores Great Britain’s ties to the slave trade, with lines dissecting corrupt processes of Commonwealth nations to rid any blame or guilt for the inhuman servitude that was stowed upon many men women and children. The bleakness of some of these sound pieces fall heavily in much of Ayewa’s word play and it gives a haunting vison of our present situation in the process. “SOUTH SEA” (featuring musical accompaniment from Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty) bridges a gap between past and present concerns on such issues particularly through the lines: ‘the ways in which we are situated in time, reflects in how we talk about, think about, and conceptualize the world around us’. Ayewa suggestively wants us to consider the problematic nature that comes from burying our past trepidations only for them to be repeated in present reality. As the record finalises “SPEM IN ALUM” enacts as an outro bringing together much of the trademark sonic qualities of free jazz and industrial textures interludes.

A deeply personal and evocative release that shows a great depth of maturity and practice has allowed Moor Mother to project a truly haunting experience that recontextualizes and calls out the resistive and corrupt undercoat of Europe’s colonial past. In The Great Bailout, Camae Ayewa applies a level of sincerity to her work and forcefully challenges the notion of oppression in both historical and modern human culture, whilst endorsing similar sentiments from the talented collaborative efforts of many accompanying Black artists.

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