Black girls, you are awesome!
Behind-the-scenes with stealth startup Curatoric, and conversations with creators, historians and curators of African and Diasporic African art.
On H.P. Lovecraft’s literature of genealogical terror.
Lovecraft, the ornery, peculiar literary godson of Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker, is widely considered to be the father of the subgenre “weird fiction.” Weird fiction could be placed somewhere between fantasy, horror, and science fiction — a pulpy combination of the three that generally is grounded in the real world. Between 1917 and 1935, he published an almost encyclopedic array of short stories, mostly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, that grow from general morbid absurdity to dreamtime hyperballads to detailed, collage-like dispatches of our crooked world’s disastrous run-ins with the tentacled elder gods of a vast, highly conceptualized alternate universe. The mythos he created persists to this day in the movies, comic books, novels, video games, RPGs, and, most recently, a Thanksgiving struggle plate that went viral.
That Lovecraft was racist beyond even the excessive racism exhibited by other white writers of his time is not in question. The above paragraph is far from an aberration among his over 100,000 pages of letters, and he populates his fictional universe with slithering, swarthy-faced mongoloids and idiot, infanticidal black men (he almost never wrote about women of any race — an erasure that warrants an essay unto itself). As writer Phenderson Djèlí Clark points out in his excellent essayon Lovecraft, “It’s always perplexing to watch the gymnastics of mental obfuscation that occur as fans of Lovecraft attempt to rationalize his racism.” Responses tend to write off his racism as a product of his times and then be paradoxically surprised that it didn’t hinder his success. “In spite of […] his overt racism,” biographer Donald Tyson tells us, “he created a mythic world that continues to captivate the imagination of millions of readers.” The phrase “in spite of” comes up a lot, as well as allusions to a vaguely presumed-to-be anti-racist, first-person plural that is of course appalled by such bigotry.
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Old Money - “Mothership” (Video)
Check out the new video from Old Money, taken from their latest release - the Mothership EP - available now on Dutty Artz. Featuring deep, mystical, immersive vibes, the EP is on the cutting edge of contemporary (pan-)African electronic music, while boasting influences ranging from M.I.A. and Jay Electronica to literature from the Nation of Islam and Octavia Butler. Remixes on the EP come by way of Chief Boima and South Africa’s DJ Spoko, and is available now on iTunes.
"Mothership" was also featured on Old Money’s debut full length album, Fire In The Dark.
The Illjazztic One (The Ill, The Jazztic)
Music Producer, Beat Konducta, Mixologist, Afrofuturist, Nubian Nut.
Born and reared in Detroit, Michigan, once home to the famed Motown sound, Sebastian McLaren was more enthralled with sounds of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Parliament/Funkadelic, and Sly and the Family Stone than anything the mean streets of Detroit had to offer. Starting out on trumpet, Sebastian eventually progressed to the piano, and finally to the two instruments which have become synonymous with his signature sound, the bass guitar and drums.
After stints in a number of jazz fusion, funk, and reggae bands, Sebastian’s college years saw him move away from composing and creating music all together. However, his interest in music never waned and after graduating he became intrigued by the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using direct-drive turntables and a DJ mixer, a phenomenon referred to as “turntablism.”
In 2007 after years of floating around in the underground Hip Hop and Breakbeat music scenes, Sebastian McLaren, now called The Illjazztic One, because of his constant habit of placing phrases of jazz instrumentation over hip hop beats, began working with Mutant Soundz, a Detroit based electronic music label with United Kingdom ties. It was that opportunity which paved the way for the formation of his own music production house, Dynamic Beats Abound, forging an eventual partnership with Soulful Child Records where he currently provides musical direction for a number of their mainstay recording artists.
2013 - Soulstrumentals, Vol. 1 /LP/
2013 - Illjazztic Excursions /Mix Tape/
2013 - Hipnotic Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 /EP/
2013 - The Souladelic Connection /Mix Tape/
The future of screens everywhere.
Google announced their smart contact lens a couple months ago – one that could measure glucose without the need to prick the skin, a huge boon for those with diabetes. Not the sort to pause and take a breath after a win like that, the mad scientists of Silicon Valley already have version 2.0 on deck at the patent office, and, like every good piece of wearable tech, it’s got a camera attached. This means that soon you could be snapping selfies in every reflective surface you walk by with just a whim and a blink. Or, better yet, you could take a picture of literally anything else. Of course, bear in mind these are just patents - it could be a little while before you’re trolling South Beach winking at every bikini you see.
The Future Weird short film screening series out of Brooklyn joins The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly for an evening of sci-fi, experimental, speculative & weird short films by directors from Africa and the Global South, with live, thematic musical interludes from experimental/electronic artists Marlo Reynolds and Moor Mother Goddess.
Join us on Saturday, May 10 at LAVA Space from 4 to 9pm to screen two of The Future Weird’s curated tracks, VISIONS OF EXCESS and IN SEARCH OF A BLACK ATLANTIS,
Infinities Steller Mohawk by Horemheb Ankh Atum Re
∆ Robert Pruitt | Afrofuturist, Illustrator, Brown Paper Man, Charcoal King, Mr. Hair Did, Cosmic Child
∆ Photographers | ArtPace, Robert Pruitt, etc.
Tonight @ 7!
What Is AfroFuturism? on Black Girl Nerds podcast, 4/20/14 at 7pm
The show will answer the question what exactly is AfroFuturism from the founder and creator of The AfroFuturist Affair.
The AfroFuturist Affair is a community formed to…