Review: If you think that "Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes" is a poetic title for Carmae Ayewa's fourth album as Moor Mother, just wait until you hear her spoken word lyrics. She's an artist with a very singular vision, both lyrically and musically, and it's this that makes the album such an absorbing listen. Her subject matter is personal, political, social and cultural, and the music backing it - a forthright, experimental, densely layered mixture of discordant jazz samples, dark ambient chords, intense noise, industrial strength machine beats and growling, Nine Inch Nails style raw alternative rock sounds - is pushed to the limits to emphasize the strength of her message. It's an intense trip, but one that's well worth taking time and again.
Review: The Cycle is Mourning A BLKstar's "testimony to the time and space in which it was collectively created," which is a storefront in Ohio. It is there that the band met each week to practice for late night into early morning sessions each Wednesday. There that they perfected their sound, which flickers like a candle in the dark, highlights desolate urban landscapes and includes a rotating cast of characters. Each one wrote their own parts of the songs and they all came together quickly, resulting in an album that is vital and authentic, with deep and dark boom bap next to more cosmic instrumental explorations.