Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother has already released one of the most powerful albums of the last 12 months in Brass, her collaboration with billy woods, but is set to go a step further with her new solo album Black Encyclopedia of the Air, which arrives on September 17 through Anti-.
The album features recent single “Zami”, as well as today’s new offering “Obsidian”, which features Pink Siifu. Moor Mother says the track “thinking about one’s proximity to violence. Thinking about violence in the home. Violence in communities.”
Although it’s just 90 seconds, Moor Mother and Pink Siifu pack a lot into “Obsidian”, demanding multiple plays to catch every weighty bar. At times Moor Mother’s voice is pitch-shifted to a place of near incomprehensibility, but this is the atmosphere she and collaborator Olof Melander wish to cultivate, making you lean closer into her swamp-like sound world, ready to be swallowed by the harsh truths delivered within. Contrasting with this gloom comes the sing song voice, “you’re the nightmare next door / yeah I thought I knew you well / Farewell, I’ll be going to another hell”, which wafting out like a puff of smoke – unsettling in its clarity compared to the murky surroundings. Siifu jumps in with some bars that are more energetic, but no less heavy in their tone: “can’t trust me if we ain’t eye to eye.” A truly compelling piece, it’s just a sliver of what we can expect on Black Encyclopedia of the Air.
On the video for “Obsidian”, director Ari Marcopoulous says: “We decided to start the video in front of Alice and John Coltrane’s house. Nuff said. I could elaborate if you want me too. But it’s the spirit right there.”