Moor Mother: Punk, Poetry and Justice

 

“Moor Mother might be the most radical – even the most useful – Afrofuturist artist to emerge for years.”– WIRE

 

Moor Mother is the viscerally charged output of Philadelphia based artist and activist, Camae Ayewa. In line with her own description her music weaves between “blk girl blues”, “project housing bop” to “slaveship punk”, with these self made categorisations allowing Moor Mother to be fluid and interdisciplinary with her expression. Her music is often harsh, confrontational, projecting both the cathartic anger of punk and the expansive improvisatory spirit of Sun Ra into an output that is consistently grounded in a sense of history and story-telling. Through her blending of hip-hop, samples, spoken word and free jazz into collages that shudder with both pride and anger she charts centuries of abuse against black people, the differing textures working in tandum to create a strange, jarred beauty.

Her poetry, music, and ‘D-I-Y time travel’ become tools in depicting ugly truths; often harsh, often strange, always imperative and significant to building a better future for black America. Her advocacy for Afrofuturism- the movement that visualises utopian prospects for black culture- means that her artistry speaks of a painful past as a step toward envisioning what is yet to come. Each branch off the art of Afrodiaspora is united by a desire to create contexts that ‘encourage a process of disalienation’, and Ayewa creates music that implicates, names culpabilities, and creates a space to learn from difficulty. This is not an imagined future, but one instead which creates art as a distortion and reconsideration of the present.

 

“Her music is deliberately raw and unfiltered, like human feelings”FADER

 

Her debut album Fetish Bones on Don Giovanni records was released in 2016 to critical acclaim. Named 3rd best album of the year by The Wire Magazine, number 1 by Jazz Right Now and appearing on numerous end of the year lists from Pitchfork, Noisy, Rolling Stone, and Spin Magazine, she has since released ‘The Motionless Present’ commissioned by CTM X VINYL FACTORY 2017, as well as fronted the groups Irreversible Entanglements, Moor Jewelry and 700bliss.

We are honoured to have Moor Mother bring her powerful message to the Supersonic Stage this June as Robert Aiki Lowe’s guest curation, following 3 days in the The MOOG Sound Lab as our artist in residence, hosted by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Watch her below speaking with Moog Music Inc on using sound as an agent of resistance.

 

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