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Saturday
Jan212017

SUN RA - The Space Age Is Here To Stay

Not many jazz acts can be confused with Sun Ra and His Arkestra. From his Egyptian-style African garb to his obsession with space, Sun Ra managed to define Afrofuturism both culturally and musically. Tribal rhythms hid behind lyrics dealing with space, science, and the future; ancient mythologies merged with dystopian literary references; lyrics dealing with nuclear explosions and Mutually Assured Destruction are sung over jazz bass lines and horns. Taken individually, these topics have been discussed before, but no one other than Sun Ra has managed to combine jazz, science fiction, and ancient civilizations together, and made it all sound so good in the process.

This, in essence, is what The Space Age Is Here To Stay offers its audience. From the very first song, “Along Came Ra/The Living Myth”, Sun Ra utilizes religious lyricism and imagery to create a mythos around the album and him. It sounds ostentatious and pretentious at first, but the stripped back percussion and tribal chants ground the song in a way that makes the abstract concrete, the general more intimate. In this way, he delivers unto his listeners more than mere music; he’s giving them an opportunity for a musical and spiritual journey through the cosmos of sound. - Popmatters

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