This album is my way of coming to terms with something I’ve never truly liked, through marrying it to something I love, then having the two shack up in a sweaty motel for a weekend to conceive a third thing that’s not quite the same as either of its parents, but that I like a whole lot more:

I made an album of Sun Ra dubs. Dub reggae basslines, fully unlicensed Sun Ra samples and more reverb than would fit in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

You’re welcome.

I understand if you want to stop reading here, close the tab, and forget you ever made the mistake of giving me the time of day - that’s fine, no hard feelings, but if you’re curious, I’m not actually saying I dislike Sun Ra, or that I made his music better by making a sloppy dub album out of it; it’s mostly just that, though I do host this site at the domain jazz.fish, I don’t...honestly...like jazz... that much...

I know.

I’m so sorry.
I’m so, so sorry.

I like a fair amount of things that are jazz-adjacent, and even some players who are properly jazz, but on the whole, if it doesn’t fit under the gypsy jazz, ECM or Miyazaki soundtrack umbrellas, and it calls itself jazz, chances are I don’t really like it that much. 

I’m really very sorry.

Beyond that, while I absolutely love the experience of playing freely improvised music, and have often been totally moved by witnessing live improvisation, I don’t often love listening to that stuff on record, and even within that niche, also greatly prefer free improvisation outside the jazz idiom (just read Derek Bailey’s book, he talks about this better than I ever will). There are plenty of exceptions to this rule of preference, of course, and I mean no disrespect to anyone involved in the jazz scene, free or otherwise - some of my best friends are jazz musicians! Uhhhh...

As this pertains to Sun Ra, I’ve always loved him as an individual, as a thinker, a character, a wonderful weirdo the likes of which we’ve seen far too rarely. I think the main riff of Space Is The Place is one of the heaviest riffs known to humankind, right up there with the likes of Sabbath, Sleep and Earth. But beyond that one riff, he’s a figure I appreciate, and not really a musician whose work I love. I would say the same about Captain Beefheart, if he hadn’t made albums like Clear Spot, Shiny Beast and Doc At The Radar Station (so basically I’m just throwing Trout Mask under the bus here...sorry...).


So, apologies aside, I really, really, really like this album. I had a ton of fun (and some properly fucked up dreams) while making it, and it was great to reengage with some guitar/bass playing after a long spell of being entirely on electronic duties. I think the results are wonderful, rewarding, and should be seen as a fringe branch off of Sun Ra’s legacy.

It felt appropriate, on a more serious note, to dedicate this album to the kemetic forms of the moon, devoted as I am to our nocturnal illuminator. Sun Ra represents the dayside, the gold in man, while Khonsu-Djehuty is the silvery nightside in her velvet glory.

IO SELENE, IO KHONSU, IO HECATE, IO DJEHUTY.
© 1987-2020