International Anthem Recording Company
It should tell you nearly everything you need to know about Irreversible Entanglements’ vision of liberation that they formed to play a Musicians Against Police Brutality event and only grew more furious from there. Fronted by rapper/poet Camae Ayewa (a/k/a Moor Mother) and backed by a four-piece band deeply conversant in free jazz, the self-titled debut seethes with the kind of escalating, noisy tension that masks both a deep sorrow and a barely-holding-on exhaustion. Ayewa damns the systemic failures of American capitalism and the brutal omnipresence of racism (“Chicago to Texas”) and police violence (“Enough”) with the fervor of the angry young idealist and the depth of the longtime activist, scoffing at cruelties and injustice with a hard-earned contempt that meets the bleakness of the subject.
From its opening snare roll to its scorched-earth conclusion, the debut by this furious quintet — poet Moor Mother, trumpeter Aquilles Navarro, saxophonist Keir Neuringer, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Tcheser Holmes — grants the listener not a moment’s rest. Collectively improvised at the group’s first gathering, it has the righteous energy of classic free jazz, Moor Mother’s declamatory verses the cries of someone who’s in hell but plotting a revolution.