It’s an understatement to say that this pandemic has fucked some shit. Better to say that its bulldozed through economies, politics, industries, families, personal lives, and sex lives (remember sex? So 2019.) like a goddamned tornado through Kansas and now we’re stuck in fucking Oz, both the HBO and the MGM version. That’s right, monkeys can fly and shank ya and water can melt you and crucify you to the gym floor when you get too bitchy. It’s been interesting to watch music adapt to this hot trash. Cause live shows just went the fuck away and their main way of making money disappeared like a sad rabbit in a depressing hat. So, after a while, we decided “live” shows on Youtube were a thing. What the fuck else can we do? And musicians hobbled in front of a cameras, after the Rona mafia broke their legs, to perform tricks like whores in the street for rent, dental, and student loans. Not a joke. Shit’s real. Even the metal goddess Kristin Hayter from Lingua Ignota went from looking forward to breaking through with her awesome fucking album tour to begging on GoFundMe to pay for necessary surgery on her back. They wrote about in Rolling Stone. So, if this can happen to an up and coming star, just imagine what happened to anyone playing jazz. Ooof. Pow. Bang. At least they could count the beats as Rona kicks their ass.
So, in comes Idris Rahman (sax and bass clarinet), Leon Brichard (electric and upright bass), Emre Ramazanoglu (drums, mixing, mastering), and Satin Singh (percussion) from Ill Considered. I’ve written about these motherfuckers before. Guys can fucking groove. That kind of groove that only comes from entire lives in service to the temple and gods of groove. They’re groove monks coming in on that dope wave of jazz musicians from London like: A Comet Is Coming, Theon Cross, Makaya McCraven, Moses Boyd, Sons of Kemet, and Binker and Moses.
So, these guys go on YouTube and do the one thing they’ve always done, groove so hard you forget who you are and where you’re at. Which is perfect cause, not only is this the easiest and cheapest way to travel, it’s been the only way to travel these days. When I threw this on today and found myself going back and forth between watching how the magic is created to allowing it to wash over me like waves in the summer, cause sometimes you just don’t wanna know how the sausage is made. They’ve also released this as an album, this rehash of tunes they’ve already made. But a beautiful thing about jazz is it never sounds the same twice. These motherfuckers could perform the same 10 songs for the rest of their lives and it would sound different every time. Kinda how it fucking works. So, how does improvised music sound during a pandemic? Different. Interesting. There’s a longing to it. This tacit voice saying shit I’ve wanted to express but didn’t know how. It’s a mixture of frustration, sadness, horniness, longing, fight, push, anger, and this dark yet energetic scream, a defiant human angst bellowing against an uncaring existential nothingness yet it somehow feels fucking great. It’s cool and danceable. God … these are some talented motherfuckers.
Look, if we’re going to be stuck in Oz we might as well have a couple soundtracks and help each other out. How the fuck do you think Dorthy got through that shit? She joined a fucking gang. So if you’re one of those few out there that didn’t get completely fucked by Rona you should help those that did, it’s the human thing to do. Easy now, I’m not saying donate to every motherfucker that needs help or else you’d be broke by lunch. But, now more than ever, if there’s a musician out there that isn’t Beyonce level famous why not give your support? Help them get a surgery they need, fix their teeth, and just pay rent. And if you can’t? Fuck it. You need this soundtrack more than ever. Why do you think these motherfuckers released it for free on YouTube? That’s the thing about tragedy, after that initial shock, you get to choose how to react. You can either come together and help those you can, anyway you can, or we all become more distant than we already fucking are.
Do these guys groove? Oh, fuck ya. They groove against the fucking world, this pandemic, and in defiance of what is in order to create something better. The feel the moment and their emotions and put that shit into sound so audiophiliacs around the world can plug in and feel together. Cause, if you haven’t fucking noticed, they’re people out there that decided others don’t matter. Fuck masks. Fuck distance. They’re going on vacation. And instead of letting out that anger we all feel, they let it burn them from the inside out. And if it’s a choice between burning down and becoming some cynical bitch or dancing like the world’s on fire, I’m dancing like a goddamned queen in Oz.