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Raw Poetic

“Pull from everywhere, because we didn’t belong anywhere”


FEB 28, 2023 | ISSUE 11

Raw Poetic by Earl Davis

In this nascent decade, Washington D.C's alternative rap mavens, Raw Poetic and Damu the Fudgemunk (Jason Moore and Earl Davis, respectively), have released five albums together: Ocean Bridges, Moment of Change, BIG tiny Planet, Laminated Skies, and Space Beyond the Solar System. Each album feels distinct, but at a length of two hours, Space is the most sonically ambitious of the set, oscillating between spiritual jazz orchestration, funky psychedelia, and prog interludes patched through a plenitude of juicy synths.

Moore collaborated with his uncle, the canonical saxophonist Archie Shepp, for 2020's roomy, combo-oriented jazz album, Ocean Bridges. Shepp returns to bookend Poetic and Damu's quintet in Space. His expressive tonality floats amidst the backdrop of Damu's digital soundscape, a daemonic counterpoint to Raw Poetic's flow. There have been many exciting recent intersections between free jazz and electronica, but this meeting between generations refreshingly eschews the current...