Tabs Out | 700 Bliss – Spa 700

700 Bliss – Spa 700
9.4.18 by Malocculsion

Sometimes you pop in a tape not knowing what in the twisted world will belt out of the speakers – A cacophonous blast of harsh noise wall? The slued out or morphed in? Chirpy, abstract synthesizer bloops or chopped and mutilated yelling over pillars of feedback? – Even if one is familiar with the project in question, sometimes we just don’t know for sure. As soon as my 700 Bliss tape arrived in the mail from Halycon Veil, I eagerly knew it was time to find out. As I rolled a joint atop its Norelco case for the first listen, I knew by looking at the collage cover art, and knowing the personnel involved in this project, that “Spa 700” was going to be a sonic experience not quite like anything else I have jammed into my dusty, resin caked tape deck in quite sometime. 700 Bliss is a collaborative project between two renowned, artistically and politically radical Philadelphia based producers, MOOR MOTHER (aka Camae Ayewa) and DJ HARAM (also of the all femme DJ collective, DISCWOMAN.)

After the leader expires, a to-the-point, annoyed, and fed up sample lets us know just what we are in this life: Not funny, not entertaining, not smart. Just ANNOYING. We are quickly transported into dark, cosmic zones of dense and angry synthesizers accented with the slamming of thick bass drums and the first 700 lyrical histories of “SPA 700,” which remain true to Ayewa’s unmistakable and indelible style of lyricism. Armed with a sword-like, bleeding cadence – and a deep celestial knowledge – Ayewa begins the slaughter. With the glitches of Haram’s hauntingly pulsated production shifting space-time through portals and back into the club, Ayewa is freely able spit her psychedelically astute and poignantly dangerous vocal rhythms throughout the albums opener, and perhaps heaviest track, “Basic.” The entire album goes on to articulate the massive loss of black lives coming over on slave ships and violent tensions fueled by white supremacy and imperialism. Haram’s unique style of jazzy and heavy hybridized production (nodding elegantly to early footwork/juke, trap, West African New Wave Funk, dancehall, Charlie Parker, and Throbbing Gristle) melds into mountains of cascading peaks and troughs for Ayewa to slice jugulars with her uncompromisingly stark phrases. This is rap, this is industrial, this is club music, this is revolution music to slice the neck of your boss to. Eloquently wipe the blade on your pants and turn it up to eleven as if this twisted life never actually happened.

700 Bliss is the reality check we all needed. The sonic encapsulating structure of “SPA 700” leaks blood and futuristic knowledge into our empty cup, the education of the trash of imperialism, all while affirming the artists and their collaborators within their own uncompromising positions within the histories of futuristic sounds and societies. 700 Bliss’ music tells their unheard stories through an uncannily stark and real web of historical knowledge, black futurism, and sonic sorcery. 700 Bliss is radical protest music for the beginnings of a world which must leave this current place far behind to burn in peace. With “Spa 700,” 700 Bliss stands as one of the most sonically important contemporary electronic music duos to date. Which side are you on? (SORRY, you don’t get to choose, they do.)

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