“There’s a tendency among white musicians and audiences to take retrospective solace in nostalgia, the halcyon days of rock and pop when they still held their innocent lustre and life was more swinging, sunny and simpler. There is a certain kind of white fan who prefers black music of a certain vintage and is uncomfortable with its present day mutations. For black musicians, black audiences, the past is not a halcyon place – it was a time of open racism, of civil rights struggles, of systematic disadvantage and everyday humiliation. Why hark back to that? The present’s not so hot either, come to think of it. The future is where it’s at, the future from which white audiences are often prone to flinch. Hence Stevie Wonder’s Arp and Moog adventures, George Clinton’s Brother From Another Planet schtick, Lee “Scratch” Perry, A Guy Called Gerald, Detroit Techno and the early embrace of Kraftwerk by African-Americans, and the whole, electric underground push of black music from Go-Go to house, hip-hop jungle to grime and footwork.

“[Sun] Ra’s teachings might lead nowhere but his musical example is practical, vital and of the utmost, enduring relevance. He is the Grandfather of Afro-Futurism.”

– David Stubbs, Yearning for Impossible Escape: Sun Ra, Afro-Futurist Godfather (The Quietus)


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