Philadelphia's Camae Ayewa demands attention. And respect. With an introduction delivered over a stomach-curdling drone that suggests, "if you are here to talk to your friend you haven't seen for a while, go the fuck upstairs. If you are here to record me, you aren't at the show." And so it goes. As Moor Mother, Ayewa delivers an unabashed performance that mixes hip-hop, spoken word and an awareness of our current state of affairs viewed through a historical lens of race oppression. Is it heavy-handed? Oh gosh, yes! Is it effective? Usually. With pieces punctuated by brief interludes by everything from politicians to vintage Nina Simone, Moor Mother's musical accompaniment is a mutilated machinery of beats that weld together a funky bounce and a jittery post-Aphex unease all thumped down onto a cavernous and quasi-Gregorian drone of tones. To call it visceral is an understatement. Though it could be seen as a pastiche of things already and previously well-represented, Ayewa's message is thrown at the crowd with such assuredness and menace who would have the balls to deny it?
Seahorse Tavern, Halifax NS, May 26
BY Eric HillPublished May 27, 2017