DAMON LOCKS BLACK MONUMENT ENSEMBLE - NOW (Crimson & Black Vinyl) LP
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Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble's previous album, their 2018 debut Where Future Unfolds, had a best new music in Pitchfork, was a "Top 50 Album of the Year" in Wire Magazine, and was BBC DJ Gilles Peterson's unequivocal "Favorite Album of the Year." NOW is the band's much anticipated followup, which carries on their unique brand of Choir-fronted Hip-Hop-meets-Gospel/Jazz Liberation Music – very much a modern day echo of the Harlem Freedom Singers and/or Eddie Gale's Black Rhythm Happening. This new one is a bit heavier on the beats and drum machines, sounding almost like Public Enemy/Bomb Squad working with ESG. Clarinetist Angel Bat Dawid and cornet player Ben LaMar Gay are heavily featured on this album.