Algiers: “Can The Sub_Bass Speak?” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Algiers: “Can The Sub_Bass Speak?”

Aug 30, 2019

This week Algiers shared a new song, “Can The Sub_Bass Speak?” It is an intense piece about race that also seems to tackle some of the criticism the band has received in the past. It’s a combination of spoken word vocals from frontman Franklin James Fisher mixed with free-jazz backing provided by saxophonist Skerik and drummer D’Vonne Lewis.

The song was paired with an auto-visual piece put together by filmmaker Sam Campbell and typographer Farbod Kokabi and features production from duo Randall Dunn and Ben Greenberg. It’s part of bigger web-installation:

Fisher had this to say about the song in a press release:

“Who has the cultural authority to designate origin and authenticity? ‘Can the Sub_Bass Speak?’ is a frustrated regurgitation; a re-contextualization; a re-appropriation; a shield and a mirror that projects back onto the world a lifetime of interpellating language rooted in weaponized ignorance and supremacist privilege.

“The improvised punctuation is provided by Skerik on the tenor saxophone and D’Vonne Lewis on drums and percussion. The underlying cacophony traces the evolution of African-American music, experience and identity.

“This is not for the mercenary architects: the Jacks and Queens of simulated experience. This is for anyone who has found themselves on the sharp end of insidious, rhetorical prying: ‘Where are you from?’ ‘What are you?’ This is for anyone who has had their identity assigned and determined by the agents of patriarchy. This is for the Subaltern.”

Algiers’ last album was 2017’s The Underside of Power.

Read our 2017 interview with Algiers on The Underside of Power.