Since last October, Eric Porter, the ever-transforming electronic music producer, has gone on a determined run, self-releasing albums, via Bandcamp, that hopscotch through House, Techno, and Breakbeat. It’s been a clockwork-like doubling down, challenging the Big Box EDM status quo by making digitized music that carries the great spirit of Blackness. Everything and nothing at the same time. Assembled with wings, intellect and omnipotent connectivity. It’s old and new simultaneously. Always traveling.
He’s received praise and recognition by Gilles Peterson, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and many others, but the adulation fails to give sustained exposure or opportunity like those who trend, lack ingenuity, and most definitely do not look like him. There is a passage from Porter, referring to the artwork of a flower pushing through cement, that speaks on it.
“This phenomenal contradiction of nature says so much about life’s potentials. All too often stories of Black sacrifices and achievements are hidden from us so that we will not dare to struggle. We have been given exceptional bodies and brains to obtain greatness. Always encourage children, friends, and family that no dream is impossible or unattainable. We have the power to reach for the sun even under concrete”-Afrikan Sciences.
Centered, Porter’s most recent album, sees the producer facilitating breakbeat music, with a bit more redemption this time around. Recording under the name Afrikan Sciences, this New York-based artist, known for his recontextualized sound collages, grinds up various kick drum assisted genres on his sixth LP. This change-up of sorts is right in line with his tendency for refusing to repeat. So when he’s not winking at us with nod’s to the iconic show “Breaking Bad” or praising the Bronx Producer and DJ legend “45 King” in song titles, the album leans on percolating rhythms, discordant pathways, and pressurized breakbeat mayhem.
Now don’t trip, the terrain still speaketh in the tongue of outliers and how they maneuver in the world. “Tuco’s Revenge” and “The 45 King is a mark” both serve up cold steel in the hour of chaos. Matter of fact, the closing track, “Back To Scratch”, is a lumbering mood, with some dark Miles “Live Evil” type mojo on loop, constantly getting pushed to the brink. During the 2nd half of the song, more layers and revolutions get added to flesh out this muggy outpost.
“aRuema”, which comes in and stays humid during its 8-minute runtime, features a talking drum conversing non-stop over a side to side moving bass line. It carries the spirit of the Ancestors, holding court in the nebula, communicating via the drum over digital frequencies. It’s got THAT feel.
But “Momma Luv”, a hidden bonus track, which comes with the full purchase of the album, a suggestion I humbly make unto thee, leads with a simple keyboard melody that takes us, with great ease, down the wormhole of groove. It just keeps chugging, grinding, mashing along. Dishing out major amounts of joy in repetition, until the meditative funk, ambient waves and pastel speckles of noise, ebb, and flow all over your get down. Radiating warmth and soft edges upfront, its straightaway proclaiming that in moments of struggle, movement, if only for a couple of minutes, is indeed our salvation.
Listen to Afrikan Sciences’ new album Centered below via Bandcamp. It is released through The Student Body Presents.