Moor Mother | photo by Bob Sweeney
Moor Mother releases tense new single “Obsidian,” announces new album Black Encyclopedia of the Air
In less than two minutes, Moor Mother covers hell, capitalism, and night terrors on her new track “Obsidian.” The song is the latest taste of her upcoming album, Black Encyclopedia of the Air, which will be out September 17 via her new label Anti-. The Philadelphia-based project of producer and poet Camae Ayewa brought in Pink Siifu for a feature on the track and worked with director Ari Marcopoulus to create an accompanying video.
Ayewa’s pitch-shifted vocals creep over a downtempo beat until they crash into Pink Siifu’s equally uneasy flow. Eerie and unsettling as she remarks there are “so many forces at play,” paranoia instantly settles in. Simultaneously a warning and a simple observation, it feels foreboding. According to a press release, while working on “Obsidian,” Moor Mother was “thinking about one’s proximity to violence. Thinking about violence in the home. Violence in communities.” The song isn’t the clash itself, rather the second your stomach drops and you realize you’re in danger.
The black and white video was filmed outside of Alice and John Coltrane’s house in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philly, which came in danger of demolition this winter, but a community outcry saved it — though preservation will be an expensive road. The home, which is on North 33rd Street, has been on Philadelphia’s Register of Historic Places List since 1985. The house had been the site of many career-defining moments for Coltrane, from signing his first record deal, working on Giant Steps, kicking a heroin addiction, and being featured on Miles Davis’ album Round About Midnight.
You can check out the video below, as well as the full tracklist for the album — which features collabs with fellow Philly-rooted artists lojii, Orion Sun, and Black Quantum Futurism — and pre-order Black Encyclopedia of the Airhere.
Black Encyclopedia of the Air Track List
1. Temporal Control of Light Echoes
2. Mangrove [ft. Elucid and Antonia Gabriela]
3. Race Function [ft. Brother May]
4. Shekere [ft. Lojii]
5. Vera Hall [ft. Bfly]
6. Obsidian [ft. Pink Siifu]
7. Iso Funk
8. Rogue Waves
9. Made a Circle [ft. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela and Orion Sun]
10. Tarot [ft. Yatta]
11. Nighthawk of Time [ft. Black Quantum Futurism]
13. Clock Fight [ft. Elaine Mitchner and Dudu Kouate]