- Making noise is a great way to metabolize anger and alienation. For many people in the extreme music world, it's the only way they can articulate those feelings. Usually this is a generalized existential angst about the pointlessness of everything, or maybe just a feeling of not fitting in. But for the poet and musician Moor Mother, it gives shape to the anger and alienation of a very specific condition: being poor and black in America. The Philadelphia-based artist has over 100 recordings on Bandcamp spanning audio collage, industrial music and straight-up noise. She often raps in a doom-poetry dirge about the physical and psychological violence that she's witnessed. Sometimes she just screams.
700 Bliss is Moor Mother's collaborative project with DJ Haram, another Philly artist with equally radical inclinations. Their debut EP, Spa 700, is seething and wrathful, pairing hardcore poetry with raw, lean instrumentals. "Look ma, we made it," Moor Mother screams on "Basic," the opening track. "Only lost 100,000 coming over on them slave ships." The beat, with tense Middle Eastern strings dancing atop an overblown bass drum, matches the gravity of the subject. DJ Haram often pairs Middle Eastern recordings with the tough rhythms of East Coast club music (Jersey, Philly, Baltimore club), and on Spa 700 the combination feels especially potent. On the skeletal "Living," there aren't even any drums till halfway through. The tension is delicious.
The other highlight is "Scully," where Moor Mother sounds as awesome and terrifying as a pissed-off god. The beat gives her plenty of room to stretch out, while also creating a totally trapped and airless ambience. It's proof of a powerful rapport, the kind of explosive chemical reaction you hope for from any collaborative project.
02. Cosmic Slop
03. Ring the Alarm