Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released in July, DeForrest Brown Jr.'s explosive fusion of jagged rhythm experiments and revolutionary jazz, now comes bundled with an additional 30-minute track that fleshes out his sprawling narrative in a fourth dimension.
Emerging from the heat of summer as anti-racist protests burned across the USA, "Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry" is an unambiguous demand for change, joining the dots between the past, present and future of African American creative innovation since the birth of a nation that has systematically silenced Black voices. DeForrest Brown Jr.'s second album for Planet Mu under the Speaker Music alias, it rises from the Alabama-raised, New York-based theorist's rallying cry of "Make Techno Black Again" and in doing so recaptures the sprawling genre's initial driving force, melting anger, activism and art with neck-snapping rhythms that demand physical interaction.
In techno's almost 40-year history, the genre has mutated from an exasperated, funk-inflected celebration and exploration fabricated between the factories of Detroit into functional wallpaper for comfortable pan-global revelers' chemically-aided avoidance strategies. Brown takes decisive action, folding spoken word, snippets of jazz and terrifying samples (some cut from protest footage) into his ceaseless, chattering rhythmic patterns. There are echoes of Drexciya's waterlogged sci-fi mystery, Milford Graves' impulsive rhythm exploration and A Guy Called Gerald's innovative, annoyingly-underrated Black Secret Technology, but Brown's sound, while referential, exists in its own alien parallel universe.
A theorist, critic and writer as well as a musician, Brown assembled a magazine to sit alongside the album that comprises histories, listening lists, lyrics and articles all hinged around the album's central message. It's a celebration of Black art and an attempt to address questions of context and inclusion that doesn't hinge on neoliberal notions of identity commodification. Instead, it pushes into unexplored territory, challenging the status quo and daring to be revolutionary. Together, this package is one of the most essential releases of the year - unrelenting, powerful, innovative, historical and mind-alteringly futuristic. We're floored.