Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ras G and the Afrikan Space Program

Ras G hails from South Central Los Angeles via outer space and seems to be consciously placing himself in the afro-futurist tradition of Sun Ra and George Clinton.

Last year Ras G and the Afrikan Space Program put out an album called Ghetto Sci Fi with tracks including Beyond the Sky, Afrikan Space Rhythms and Sign Me Up, with its double-edged sample at the beginning about the requirement for all aliens to register with the National Space Administration.

Last month he put out another album, Brotha from Another Planet. Nice review at Bama Love Soul which should whet your appetite: 'you would most likely need an extraterrestrial being to translate some of the sounds he manages to construct/deconstruct..but definitely in a good way. At first listen you begin to hear influences of the unpredictable free jazz styles (though not a jazz album) of Sun Ra, Coltrane, and Horace Tapscott, the heavy, in the red, Dub bass drops of King Tubby, and undoubtedly the dustiest, dirtiest drums of hip hop peers J Dilla, and label mate Flying Lotus. Add randomly scattered static, scratches, vocal samples from various films and records, crazy left and right pans (especially if you listen through headphones) and you are ready for some serious space traveling'. Check out Alkebulan from the album here - a video with lots of clips from Sun Ra's Space is the Place.

Still finding my way around all this, but all I've heard so far sounds great. There's an interview with him here (where he sings the praises of London bass including dubstep and grime):

1 comment:

Mr Tear said...

Thanks for this, I'm liking the tracks that are up on youtube. But I still reckon that Kool Keith is running with George Clinton's torch.