Ras G & the Afrikan Space Program

Back On the Planet

Brainfeeder • 2013

There are quite a few talents at the Beat-smith’s workshop Brainfeeder amongst them Flying Lotus and Thundercat – however, the output of Ras G (whose actual name is Gregory Shorter, Jr.) could be the trippiest release by the label from Los Angeles, so far. Because in contrast to the title, the new record doesn’t sound like it’s of this world, at all: echoing radiocommunication, hyper-nervous beeping-sounds and hectic free-jazz-craziness, smacking of Sun Ra, really. It takes up to the fifth track until Ras G actually puts his feet on the ground and finds back to his old strength: He pulls the freely floating space-program-arrangements with their bouncy hip-hop-beats back to earth. Every now and then you’ll hear random-seeming language-snippets (Jamaican, in particular), in addition to the »Oh Raaaas«, which have annoyed us on previous releases, as well as the sirens, alarms and noise-sounds famous for the sound-clash/-system-culture. Not to forget all the wobbly sub-basslines, flickering synth-layers, African drum beats, and, here and there even something remotely reminding us of a melody, of atmospheric collages of mic-samples and dangerously staggering rhythms. Hence, »Back On The Planet« can be seen as the next highlight on the way to produce jazz with hip-hop-sounds. Yo, space is the place again!