SONS OF KEMET RELEASE NEW RECORD, BLACK TO THE FUTURE OUT TODAY
“It’s a beautiful paean to the power of Black artistry and creativity, and it’s badass as hell.”
“With a moral urgency as fierce as its rhythms…”
“An album that’s constantly in motion, full of twists and turns that grab you by surprise…”
14 MAY 2021 (TORONTO, ON) – Mercury Prize-nominated UK jazz group Sons Of Kemet releases Black To The Future, the band’s most dynamic record yet, today on Impulse! Records/Universal Music Canada, the country's leading music company.
Tickets to the group’s 2022 Black To The Future Tour are on sale here.
Musically, Black To The Future is a bigger affair than previous Sons of Kemet records. The core group – Theon Cross (tuba), Edward Wakili-Hick (percussion), Tom Skinner (percussion) – is enhanced by guests such as Jazz warrior UK saxophonist Steve Williamson, Chicago bandleader/vocalist Angel Bat Dawid, American poet Moor Mother, legendary British Grime emcee D Double E, British artist/rapper/spoken word musical artist Kojey Radical, and more. Shabaka Hutchings also adds complex layers of woodwind instrumentation throughout the record, which he did during lockdown.
SONS OF KEMET: EDWARD WAKILI-HICK, TOM SKINNER, THEON CROSS, SHABAKA HUTCHINGS
© UDOMA JANSSEN (@UDOMAJANSSEN)
Shabaka Hutchings is consistently in tune with – if not in front of – the cultural themes swirling in our world: past, present and future. He unearths forgotten mythologies, unlocks sounds of the past, and presents a thesis for the future. That continues with Black To The Future, a politically poignant and musically rich album, which feels destined to be placed on the shelf next to Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues or John Coltrane’s Alabama.
This album begins and ends with powerful lyrical and musical statements of rage and frustration, expressed outwardly in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent BLM protests. The album flows inwards from the start and finish to deeper, inner journeys – looking to forgotten cosmologies and searching for new ways of existing.
Shabaka Hutchings says, ‘Black to the Future is a sonic poem for the invocation of power, remembrance and healing. It depicts a movement to redefine and reaffirm what it means to strive for black power.”
“The meaning is not universal, and the cultural context of the listener will shape their understanding,” he continues. “Yet in the end, the overarching message remains the same: For humanity to progress we must consider what it means to be Black to the Future.”
For Black To The Future, Shabaka sequenced and named each track in a specific order so that the song titles reflect a single poetic statement to which a depth of symbolic meaning can be intuited in combination with the music/sonic information.
The statement reads: “Field negus - pick up your burning cross - think of home - hustle - for the culture - to never forget the source - In remembrance of those fallen - Let the circle be unbroken - Envision yourself levitating - Throughout the madness, stay strong - Black.” Read Shabaka Hutchings’ mission statement here.
BLACK TO THE FUTURE 2022 TOUR DATES
3/27/22 – UNION STAGE – WASHINGTON, DC
3/28/22 – UNDERGROUND ARTS – PHILADELPHIA, PA
3/29/22 – WEBSTER HALL – NEW YORK, NY
3/31/22 – THE SINCLAIR – BOSTON, MA
4/1/22 – CORONA THEATRE – MONTREAL, QC
4/2/22 – MOD CLUB – TORONTO, ON
4/4/22 – LINCOLN HALL – CHICAGO, IL
4/5/22 – FINE LINE – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
4/7/22 – IMPERIAL – VANCOUVER, BC
4/8/22 – NEUMOS – SEATTLE, WA
4/9/22 – STAR THEATRE – PORTLAND, OR
4/11/22 – INDEPENDENT – SAN FRANCISCO, CA