Sons of Kemet, the Mercury Prize-nominated future jazz group spearheaded by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, have announced their new album: it’s called Black To The Future and arrives on May 14 through Impulse! Records. About the album, Hutchings says:
“‘Black to the Future is a sonic poem for the invocation of power, remembrance and healing. It depicts a movement to redefine and reaffirm what it means to strive for black power. The meaning is not universal and the cultural context of the listener will shape their understanding. Yet in the end, the overarching message remains the same: For humanity to progress we must consider what it means to be Black to the Future.”
The new album also boasts guest spots from Steve Williamson, Angel Bat Dawid, Moor Mother, D Double E, and Kojey Radical – who leads the way on the first track shared from the record, “Hustle”.
Fully embodying the spirit of Hutchings’ wish to “reaffirm what it means to strive for black power,” “Hustle” finds Sons of Kemet laying on a quietly rumbling, beguilingly rhythmic track, while Radical reflects on the grim realities of life, and yet finds soulful solace in his own perseverance. “I was born from the mud with the hustle inside me,” goes the mantra of the chorus (with Lianna La Havas adding some subtle harmonies) as the brass add some quietly glowing ambiance to his determination. A relatively subtle song that still packs a truck load of emphasis, “Hustle” suggests that Sons of Kemet have reached a new level of artistry and vision – we’ll have to wait until we hear Black To The Future to get the full picture.