Algiers have released a new collaborative audiovisual piece, ’Can the Sub_Bass Speak?’, with production duo Randall Dunn and Ben Greenberg who’ve worked with the likes of Sunn O))).
The intense new piece pits charged language and free jazz collage by Algiers against a frenzy of visuals by award-winning filmmaker Sam Campbell and typographer Farbod Kokabi.
Inspired by a chance encounter with artists Moor Mother and Harrga at Wysing Polyphonic in 2018, ‘Can the Sub_Bass Speak?’ reimagines Algiers’ post-punk deconstruction of racial and class sonic politics in new sonic and collaborative directions.
Above a backdrop of samples and chaotic instrumentation, Algiers’ multi-instrumentalist Franklin James Fisher reflects on ideas of identity, definition (and who gets to do the defining) and perspective. He even touches on how people attempt to squish his own band into boxes: “What is this? This ain’t hip-hop. This ain’t punk rock. You ain’t punk rock. You ain’t hip-hop. What is this? What style of music do you play?(…) It’s kinda like gospel-punk, soul-punk, soul-rock, doom-soul? What is this fusion? It’s more like confusion.”
“You know who you remind me of? You remind me of TV On The Radio. You remind me of Fishbone. You remind me of Gary Clark Jr. You remind me of Bad Brains. You remind me of Living Colour. You remind me of Lenny Kravitz.”
The film recalls the visual abstraction and political radicalism of Lis Rhodes and John Akomfrah, situating Fisher’s lyrical examination of structural racism within the disorienting resurgence of fascism across Europe and the United States.
Fisher says: “Who has the cultural authority to designate origin and authenticity? ‘Can the Sub_Bass Speak?’ is a frustrated regurgitation; a re-contextualization; a re-appropriation; a shield and a mirror that projects back onto the world a lifetime of interpellating language rooted in weaponised ignorance and supremacist privilege.
“The improvised punctuation is provided by Skerik on the tenor saxophone and D’Vonne Lewis on drums and percussion. The underlying cacophony traces the evolution of African-American music, experience and identity.
“This is not for the mercenary architects: the Jacks and Queens of simulated experience. This is for anyone who has found themselves on the sharp end of insidious, rhetorical prying: ‘Where are you from?’ ‘What are you?’ This is for anyone who has had their identity assigned and determined by the agents of patriarchy. This is for the Subaltern.”
‘Can The Sub_Bass Speak?’ is the centerpiece of a larger experimental web installation thereisnoyear.com, and comes as Algiers announce UK and European headline tour dates for 2020, perhaps pointing to more new music to follow soon.
Kicking off in Brighton on 3rd February, the band headline London’s Village Underground on 5th February before continuing to further stops in the UK and Europe. Tickets for the go on sale Friday 30th August at 9am.
Catch Algiers at the following shows:
3 Brighton The Haunt
5 London Village Underground
6 Manchester YES
7 Glasgow Stereo
8 Dublin Whelans
10 Leeds Brudenell
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