320 kbps, LAME-encoded
There are no drum-machines, only rhythm synthesizers programming new intensities from white noise.”
- Kodwo Eshun, More Brilliant Than the Sun
Speaker Music follows up his acclaimed “Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry” with a four track EP “Soul-Making Theodicy”. A sample of a developing gestural praxis of haptic electronic drumming inspired by percussionists such as Rashied Ali, Max Roach and Steve Poindexter. Recorded by hand via iPad, 49-Key MIDI Controller and Push, then routed through Ableton and mixed live into stereophonic paintings, or further abstractions of rhythm and soul.
“I have a natural affinity for bass and high volume music. I think it’s my particular trauma playing out in that I used to hide away in music as a kid. Because of Birmingham being so close to Atlanta, I grew up hearing trap, Miami bass and ghetto house quite often; so I guess I could say that the bass is mostly a response to the kind of dance music that I would hear DJs playing on the radio. I also grew up around a Black-specific style of marching band in Alabama. My music in a lot of ways mirror the structure and instrumentation of those bands arranged for trumpet and tuba as the dominant melodic and harmonic instruments, with clarinet, saxophone and flutes as a sub-harmonic undertone and texture surrounded by a polyphonic drumline. Juan Atkins’ idea for techno was to scale the near 20-member ensemble structure of funk bands down to a single person; wielding interlocking machines, particularly rhythm and keyboard-based synthesizers routed into mixers where he could fade and pan the captured sounds in real-time as he played these instruments live. In the same way, I’ve realized my relationship to his concept of techno as an electronic rhythm and soul music and added in my experience of playing trumpet and tuba in marching, concert and jazz bands throughout my life. So, I say all of that to say, I like my music loud, but also pressurized and swaddling.”
Cover Photo by Ting Ding, taken at Rauschenberg Residency in March 2020