Damon Locks is at the helm of the Black Monument Ensemble and their latest slice of righteous activist-music Now (Forever Momentary Space) has dropped, for Chicago’s International Anthem label – think socialy conscious hip hop meets Black Jazz (or Public Enemy meets Eddie Gale’s Black Rhythm Happening, as an eloquent and knowledgable proponent explained it to us). It also features blazing clarinet solos from the irrepressable Angel Bat Dawid.
“The video captures the artistic other worldliness that can be invoked through sound and visuals, yet the reality of the present danger of Covid can be seen in the masks everyone has,” says Locks. “It is my hope that the video feels rooted in our reality but suggests that we have the materials to manifest something new in the immediate.”
Locks – a Chicago-based multimedia artist/activist – originally conceived the work as a sample-based sound collage project. Additions by the Black Monument Ensemble – a vibrant collective of artists, musicians, singers and dancers, all hailing from a diverse fountain of Black artistic excellence in Chicago – has made this an instant classic.
For this new single, Locks was inspired by a short story by writer Cadwell Turnbull called, Jump. The story is about a couple who experience something seemingly impossible and the lengths one of them would go to control that – it’s about acceptance, imagining what’s possible and taking a jump towards it. Now (Forever Momentary Space) is about that moment of possibility.
The video combines Locks’ artwork, documentary footage and photography shot by Brian Ashby at the outdoor recording session. Animation is by Rob Shaw. The video blends the visual world of Locks’ art with documentary footage of recording in the heat of late Summer 2020.
NOW, the new album by Damon Locks & The Black Monument will be released digitally on April 9th by International Anthem. Pre-order here.