Damon Locks gives us a modern soundtrack for black empowerment

25th April 2019

‘Where Future Unfolds’ is a striking new album from Damon Locks and the Black Monument Ensemble. 

Released via International Anthem – the power house Chicago label behind Makaya McCraven, Jaimie Branch and Irreversible Entanglements – ‘Where Future Unfolds’ is a bold, uninhibited collection of tracks.

The album evokes the positive messages of black empowerment that Phil Cohran and Archie Shepp once brought to the fore, with the groove of Oneness of Juju. Not to be nostalgic though, this is an album embedded in 2019; Damon Locks, a sound and vision artist, curated a 15 piece band – his Black Monument Ensemble – to bring his ambitious ideas to life. 

Featuring field recordings and cuts of speeches, ‘Where Future Unfolds’ has been in the making for four years. With the Black Monument Ensemble, Damon Locks was able to expand his vision to involve elements of gospel and jazz, with left-field creativity that brings the innovative songwriting of The Avalanches to mind. 

Featuring Angel Bat Dawid on vocals and Dana Hall on drums as well as the alumni of the Chicago Children’s Choir, this is an album that presents a new, vital voice.

‘Where Future Unfolds’ is released via International Anthem on 31 May.

“Chicago makes me feel myself” – read our interview with clarinettist Angel Bat Dawid

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