The title of On The Corner`s new, expansive compilation references a challenge thrown down by the mighty Sun Ra – “Dare to knock at the door of the Cosmos”. Asking you to address your fear of the unknown, ignore the rule book and surrender to the universal void. To that end, OTC have collected 24 explorations, genre cross-pollinations, and hybrids.
Azu Tiwaline and Cinna Peyghamy paint an aural picture of nomadic, desert dread. Bedouin banter and a hypnotic woodwind worried by dubbed-out cracks, rolls and ricochets. Khalab summons psychedelic circuitry. Bleeps, chirrups and bottom-end boom. Quixosis remix Dengue Dengue Dengue into a sparse Sci-Fi score. A buzzing and whirring alien noir. JD Twitch has saxophone samples and techno tones tremble to the tremor of a crashing, crushing avant-hop battery. Black Classical / BKCLX update the acid jazz of Galliano`s Six Sharp Fists with a wild style of contrabass, military breaks, and poetry. Don Korto conducts a crooked cumbia. Edrix Puzzle blow a blues-y wail. Rebecca Vasmant re-fits Ze`s mutant disco-not-disco. Uffe focus on rhythm, a dynamic of bass and drums, that borrows from Chicago`s Boompty Boompt. Planet Battagon throw a full-on conniption fit. Mad and raw. Frequencies phased and stunned. Clive From Accounts goes in for some good old-fashioned hand-clapping, foot-stomping house music. Variegating a violin solo, and stealing from gospel. A vocal hook asking “How can you stop the rain?”, perhaps in reference to the current global outpour, downpour, of hate. It seems as if this storm has been raging forever. Jose Marquez injects some latin and creates a monster – a Hulk-like homage to Soundfactory Saturday night rituals – bubbling with building tension. No cheesy breakdowns or drum rolls required. Guedra Guedra mix machined muezzin calls with Taxi Kabir `s real thing. Nanotech patterns, and chaos cascades, are balanced with broken chants and blasts of ancient brass. Black Classical then transform Collocutor into a squelchy swagger. A wah-wah-ed electric Miles strut. Ariwo`s aural arsenal is Tony, Fela, afrobeat-influenced. Percussion stirred and shaken. Horns in harmony. Batida back Karlon`s super smooth faultless flow. Petwo Evans muster gentle marimba magic. Indulge in a little iron idiophone gamelan. Nicola Cruz ambushes the acoustic guitar and pan-pipe Andean ambience of Semillero. Iyer deconstruct Sunken Cages` drum & bass. Slowly shifting snares shaping a blunted subterranean funk. Animal synth snarling. Bass, sub-woofer smashing. Babani Soundsystem set to tribal banging. Triangle tonking. Filtering and fucking with everything they can get their hands on. Burundi and Brazilian batucada beats bouncing off one another. Manufacturing a manic Music Box jack. Afrikan Science re-imagine Lost and Found as an improvisation of rapid fire reeds and collapsing computer collisions.
Earlier today I read a Damon Krukowski article, written about a soundtrack, a playlist, that accompanies a new “non-view” Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition. If Samo was still kicking today, I`d put money on Door To The Cosmos being the shit he`d be listening to – drawing as it does on Jamaican sound system culture, jazz, be bop, hip hop, poetry, a punk DIY ethic and an enthusiastic lack of regard for anything even resembling “the rules”. Where echoes of the past are woven into the fabric of a music reaching, stretching, for the future. These 21st Century ceremonies that sample and celebrate myriad facets of shared human history. Reflecting ancestral faces from all places and points – Africa, America, North, South, Native – so that all is, we are, all happening at once. With, and not against the universe. Chronology and geography made meaningless. Tenesha The Wordsmith lights a final candle and casts a spell. Sending technology on a trip back towards nature, re-tuned to Mother Earth’s wavelength. Man, I mean, this IS Ra`s void. Don’t be afraid.
You can pre-order your copy of Door To The Cosmos directly from On The Corner.