A damning spokesperson for an America in denial of itself, Camae Ayewa is the black prophet vital to our times. The long and persistent social struggle, collective paranoia and the quest for ascension and consciousness are recurring themes in an already extensive body of music. The poetry of combat, lava-like words, and creative freedom. Describing Moor Mother is an exercise that is made and remade in present time. When we think we know her, behold, another spirit is born, another force that sets us an enticing challenge.
Black Encyclopedia of the Air is her seventh sound installation – and perhaps one of the most emblematic to date. Deeply intoxicated in hip-hop and improvised jazz, among other haunted urban landscapes, the journey is real. A mystical odyssey through the moribund but believing reality that he called collaborators such as Pink Siifu, Yatta or Brother May. The micro cosmos created by Moor Mother has as much emotion as quantum physics; a collection of images and sci-fi poems, rescued from a distant memory and created on the asphalt of the streets. You can hear tremors from their Irreversible Entanglements too, but the language here is broader, even bringing in RnB approaches. Camae has already joked that this is perhaps his most accessible album ever. Accessible or not, what is certain is that it sets fire to any expectation, making her an artist to savour every moment of her performance on planet Earth.
The narrative written and imagined by Camae is a mirror of a civilisation. It condenses within itself the fears, desires and restlessness of a “here and now” that is sometimes too indecipherable. Seeing her again in the Aquarius room will be a healing and equally inspiring encounter. Those who have seen her in the past know that her concerts are unrepeatable moments – and somehow, key events. “The revolution will not be televised”, said Gil-Scott Heron half a decade ago. And rightly so. NA