Spirits of Afrodubism
Today sees the release of the third (well fourth, but that’s a minor detail) GoB collaboration with ambient musician and guitar addict Cousin Silas.
This is the latest in an accidentally thematic series of ‘dub’ albums. Whether they are strictly speaking dub is up for debate, but there’s an underlying sonic connection to the form in there.
Now, whilst I’m broadly against ‘artists statements’ or digging through sources, connections, thought maps and project Gant planners and firmly believe Manifestos only count as useful when they mystify and confound their cause; I do think that this needs a little fleshing out. But I’ll be brief.
This song set features a number of speakers who have at various points given me contemplative food for thought. In the wider world, in these strange and faintly worrying times, there seems to be various National inclinations to look backward, not inward in a thoughtful or introspective way, but in some misty eyed reverie for ‘the good old days’ full of fluttering flags and jolly marching bands. Across the world in daily news broadcasts there are demagogues, mouth pieces and idiots decrying ‘the others’ over their borders, their existential threat to their constricted worlds. They use falsehood and demonization to play to the baying crowds that prop them up. They want to build walls, gather their clans, join in groups “in order to feel strong by excluding others” (see Peter Gabriel Plays Live – Not One Of Us).
There are still however open minded folks, bigger thinkers and positive stories if you look hard enough. There many more behind us, those who saw our future and gave warning. This one is for them.
A love of music introduced me to many of the voices used on this record. At the very start, listening Peter Gabriel in the very early 80’s and seeing the South Bank Show program about the making of ‘4/Security’ first introduced me to Carl Jung. I went straight to the college library after seeing this show, checking out ‘Memories, Dreams & Reflections’ and have over the years followed many threads out from this point.
At multiple stages in the past, philosophers have looked outside their own locale in order to get a clearer reflection of their own inner landscapes.
The ‘Spirits of Afrodubism’, the voices on this record have all done this in various ways and have through their art or writing offered the wider world their view from within.
Jung spent periods in Africa and widely studied comparative religion & ritual across the East before reaching his personal individuation process. R.D. Laing looked deeply into the minds of those excluded from society due to mental illness, so deeply as to be indistinguishable from his patients if some stories are to be taken as true. Carlos Castaneda fully immersed himself in the psychedelic ritual and shamanism of the Yaqui Indians, and whilst his book of the experience may have guided many to experiment with chemically induced inner voyages, it provides a far more introspective explanation of the variance and priorities in the cultures that clashed there. Fela Kuti, who came from a fairly privileged position in colonial Nigeria had to step back into the world of the Yoruba Orisha to find his ‘beast’ and blaze forward with Afrobeat, Black Power and the fight for freedom in his homeland. Likewise, Sun Ra escaped the earthly dystopia of segregation era Alabama & Chicago in the 50’s to ride the Sun from Venus to Ancient Egypt, bringing his message of personal freedom of thought & expression whilst straddling genius and madness through the music of Afrofuturism. James Baldwin (who I’ve only recently come to explore) bought intellectualism to revolution. His many messages about society and views of a broken nation & world, could have been written last month and should be National Curriculum studies. Aldous Huxley, another psychedelic voyager appears at the end project. A hugely important thinker and philosopher from what seems like a century ago, his words here seem to discuss in detail the current condition of the USA. Whilst it’s utterly terrifying it is completely essential.
You can stream and buy the album here.
Throughout the album the voices fade in and out, like memory recall distorted and fractured, most have been edited in some cases for both clarity and confusion. Linked below are some of the interviews in full. Apologies if these disappear, it’s YT.
I hope that within the album you find some small thing that sparks an interest. I’m sure that the educated (but limited) audience this release reaches will know some if not all of the references above, but if you find one you don’t know, go there first. But never trust anyone who suggests you trust the, you can trust me on that.
The album includes a cassette release at an exceptionally reasonable price. This is limited to 50 copies so likely won’t last for long.
Thank you for your time.
The third hybrid dub set from ambient master Cousin Silas and chancer, the Glove of Bones.
This time round we are exploring the power of positive thinking with input from some of the past centuries great thinkers. With particular interest in ethnography, animism and the archetypal unconsciousness, there are hopefully some guiding spirits that may help navigate our turbulent present. With dub.
releases November 9, 2018
Guitars, Bass, keyboards, synths
Glove of Bones
Apps, Samples, Rain stick,
Chimes & Gris Gris Bag
Carl Jung. English language interview from 1959.
R. D. Laing. A small interlude. This guy really had no embedded boundaries.
Fela, a huge revolutionary soul and soldier for freedom
Carlos took a step into a world he had no place in being.
Sun Ra. He gave the impression that he had transcended and took no responsibility for the opinions that prevailed that might deny this. An incredibly brave position that he carried through original thought originality and creativity.
James Baldwin has knocked me sideways. I would urge watching this in full.
And finally, heres the long Huxley interview. It’s the Exorcist, Clock Work Orange, 1984, Friday 13th and Armageddon in though process rolled up in a singular vision of now as views from 1960 something.
Choose our future. Don’t be a passenger.