Moor Mother has never been afraid of experimenting with sound, and her new project Jazz Codes is no different. A magical mixture of hushed spoken word, forceful rhymes, and soothing vocals, Moor Mother — with Olof Melander on production for all but one track, that Moor Mother produces herself — brings another sonic gem to the masses.
Jazz Codes feels like the soundtrack to a French avant-garde film in the best ways possible. Each song feels like it’s setting a scene, and is so sonically engaging, visuals jump to mind easily. “ARMS SAVE” gives visions of a noir flick envoleped in black and and white, while “DUST TOGETHER” featuring Wolf Weston and Aquilas Navarro breathe beauty from silky vocals, a gorgeous arrangement, and Moor Mother’s floating poetry. It’s easily the song I’ll return to the most. Although the very in-your-face feeling of “REAL TRILL HOURS” featuring YUNGMORPHEUS has a haunting vibe and some of the best lyrics on the album.
I really admire Moor Mother’s exploration of music. She’s fearless in her style, and in an extremely safe time in the industry she resides. I think this is what makes what she’s doing so important. Amazingly, Moor Mother feels no pressure to bow to this and we are all the better for it. Jazz Codes is an auditory playground, where each slide has its own destination; it’s an atmospheric wonderland that pulls you into its embrace and with each listen a new set of whispers is unleashed. This is most certainly an album that benefits from multiple listens. Each time through I find a new favorite. Currently the Melanie Charles assisted “GOLDEN LADY” is my preference, but I truly expect that to switch regularly.
Jazz Codes is a wonderful listen that is more about the journey then the destination, as any true journey is.