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Black Access​/​Black Axes

by Black Spirituals

supported by
Gavin Hellyer
Gavin Hellyer thumbnail
Gavin Hellyer It's good to see that Experimental Avant Garde music is not just a genre reserved for white people. This record is sensational, maybe the best album of 2018, and a great catalyst to send me on an "anything connected with Black Spirituals" hunt. The seeming scarcity of black avant garde music fascinates me though, especially when you consider Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and the fact that John Coltrane released Ascension well over 50 years ago. Strange. I got a vinyl copy of the album as well. Favorite track: Inference.
Emmerich thumbnail
Emmerich It’s not rock ’n’ roll, but it rocks harder than any other new music I’ve heard recently. Relentless, jaw-dropping, electrifying.
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  • Black Spirituals "Black Access/Black Axes" 2xLP
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Last copies of the original pressing of this amazing album. Heavy weight gatefold sleeve with insert - art direction by Black Spirituals, artwork by Faith Coloccia.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Black Access/Black Axes via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Inference 09:09
Container 06:52
Condition 04:02
Want 06:00
Anti Up 06:06
Treatment 10:04
Pan 12:49
Demic 07:33
Dissension 13:08


Like the resonant African-American traditions that long precede them, the Black Spirituals are equal parts choreographed and improvisational, containing simultaneously measuredly deliberate and frenetically urgent sonicities.

True to name, the Black Spirituals evoke and produce a Black spirituality in the sonorous tradition of Black flight calling us to follow the North Star and any and all other pathways to freedom. It’s the choreographed and synergistic spontaneity and improvisation with clear inspirations drawn
from jazz traditions, indigenous African drumming, and anti/de-colonial musico-theological and ritualistic traditions across the Afro diaspora; and it’s an expression that constitutes the kind of musical fugitivity most organically and innately produced by Black Americans in our “post-
emancipation” captive state. It’s a music for music’s sake, and it’s a feverish cathartic expression of freedom dreams with true liberatory capacity.

The Black Spirituals, like their musical forebearers, are fugitive planners enacting, per Harney & Moten, “ruptural and enraptured” soundscapes and offering a space of refuge within which enlightenment can be understood and, thus, enacted. But this is not music alone. The Black Spirituals are a transdisciplinary and genre transcendent epistemic framework that exists both in itself and in complement with other artists. Black Access Black Axes is a project expressing Black vernacularity as a solo-duetting avant-garde musical technology driven by clear need to contain and articulate both the world in which we live and the
dire need to flee and imagine and create another. The album’s core are the drone-like meditative frequencies recalling an ever-present sounding alarm: a state of emergency, an alarm signaling the need for and actualisation of Black escape, a Black articulation of futurity only accessible through distortions and conversing-dueling guitar and drum.
Though this is the last joint project with which Zachary James Watkins & Marshall Trammell will bless us, the beauty in their music is their dynamism together as well as apart. So/but before we continue to be blessed with their respective solo workings (made evident in this and all the group’s work), this is an invitation to revel in this deeply affective creation born out of their wellspring of love for Black people and our deservingness of freedom. From my head to my DNA, I felt this. I hope you will, too.

-Zoe Samuzdi


released July 6, 2018

Black Spirituals are:
Zachary Watkins
Marshall Trammell

Recorded by Randall Dunn, Andy Oswald, Norman Tealle and Zachary Watkins.

Mastered by James Plotkin.

Album art by Faith Coloccia with art direction by Black Spirituals.


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SIGE Records Vashon, Washington

SIGE Records is owned and operated by Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner. It was founded in 2009 and is based in Vashon, WA.

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