Music Review | posted 26.03.2021
Moor Mother & billy woods
BRASS
Backwoodz Studioz, 2021
Text Kristoffer Cornils
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8.5
Editorial
Cover Moor Mother & billy woods - BRASS

In the first forty seconds of »BRASS«, Moor Mother drops references to ancient mathematical astronomy, a biblical quotation and some crude imagery about drug use outside concentration camps, before her collaborator billy woods follows up with his lines about Flaubert’s Madame Bovary with the good hair (lol!?). This describes Camae Ayewa’s core competencies as much as it outlines a problem: the rapper, lyricist and experimental musician is always looking to collaborate with others and yet puts them in her pocket with her equally highly conceptual and associatively flowing rhymes. But »Furies«, on the one hand, is only the first of 15 tracks and the Armand Hammer member is not the only one sharing this record with Ayewa: Jazz avant-gardist Amirtha Kidambi, Franklin James Fisher of the gospel-punk band Algiers, R’n’B singer Wolf Weston of Saint Mela and still others are also part of this album, which feels monumental in its entirety yet intimate and close in its smallness. On relatively classic hip-hop beats, narcotic trip-hop and chopped-and-screwed borrowings and machine funk built close to industrial, not only are plenty of jazz borrowings audible, but they all have their say more or less equally. And although Moor Mother only needs to intonate a line like “The blues remembers everything the country forgot” to relegate billy woods’ jangly flow and the contributions of all the other studio guests to the second row with one stroke: »BRASS« may be marked by an imbalance as a collaboration album, but it is nevertheless a community product in every detail. And musically as varied as it is multi-layered.

You can find »BRASS« by Moor Mother & billy woods in the HHV Records webshop: LP | CD.
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