Working Progress

13/04/2024Jamaica’s groundsound (Gavsborg & Riddim Writer) Release Afrofuturist Dancehall Album With A Message

Every now and then we like to shake things up a bit and throw a sonic wrench in the system. Today's circuit breaker comes by ways of Kingston, Jamaica, home to groundsound. The forward-thinking duo consisting of Gavsborg (founding member of the Equiknoxx collective) and Riddim Writer (word artist & cultural analyst) has formed "a message-driven, Afrofuturist partnership" and recently released a stunning one-hour full-length "to free-up how listeners hear, think of, and understand Jamaica, its people, its music, and its culture."  This creative synergy of theirs is triply rewarding, seeing as it speaks to mind, body and soul on equal levels. 

"Working Progress" is the title of this 15-track dip into a their multiverse, densely constructed and highly danceable from a production standpoint, dangerously observant and tongue in cheek from an intellectual standpoint, and unconventionally progressive from a cultural standpoint. In other words, this is not what you would expect and you will be elated that it isn't. Instead, this boundary-pushing Jamaican songbook takes a magnificent swing at rethinking its very own roots and challenging the status quo from the ground up to draw up a novel, decolonial 'commonwealth' of sound. "'Working Progress' is broken beats meets black space, memory meets magic, and decolonial meets dub. Each track is an invitation to skank, spin, and slip with us through time," says Riddim Writer. 

Choosing the club as their vessel of choice, Gavsborg and Riddim Writer "deliver a dub, broken beats and futurist dancehall set that will move listeners. They bring an immersive landscape to life: wind, whispers, and water are palpable. Vocally they meditate on the mundane and provoke the political: What is intimacy to an untouchable bleacher? Why is the visa application process so invasive? What is obeah? Can dancehall center queerness?" Such is this innovative and entertaining musical mission of theirs that is a not simply a tribute to theirs truly and those that came before, but a resounding 'what if we did things a little bit differently for a change?' Ya heard?!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom