Grasping Things at the Rootis now streaming from the Neo-Soul and genre-bending group Bulletproof Soul. Along with the anticipated collective album comes a single from House sensation and Bulletproof Soul mainstay DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ, with vocals from Nyyjerya. The track is another Dance-Pop, French House, and Outsider House classic in a long line of successes from DJ Sabrina.
The group doesn’t shy away from variety in genre incorporating everything from Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, Synthwave, House, Industrial, Shoegaze, Plunderphonics, Art Pop, and Dance-Pop within Grasping Things at the Root. The likes of Nyyjerya, Austin Moore-Farrow, DJ Sabrina, Kengeta, eqobKING, SLWJMZ, Ali Wisdom, and TWENTYN9NE adapt to their soundscapes and deliver a 12-track concept album about material conditions and systemic realities. The talented music and art collective features a long list of talent and notoriety including DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ, Amouranth, Angela Davis, Nyyjerya, Austin Moore-Farrow, Lofty305, Ed Gage, Keith Lawson, FK Garland, Wolvenoir, PlaySHADO, Alek Oni, Lauren Ashcraft, Clark the Healer, JACOB SONGS, Unkwnexposure, TWENTYN9NE, SLWJMZ, eqobKING, Kengeta, and Ali Wisdom.
“The Ascension” is track 11 of 12 that helps close out the group’s concept album. It is a weaving rearrangement from Nyyjerya’s initial studio recording of “The Playoff”. It has everything in the making of a Dance-Pop hit. However, the group was able to conceptualize the remix into something so much deeper.
Grasping Things at the Roots follows a story arc of material conditions and the effects of those causations. Another term for this is dialectical materialism. Tracks like “The Whip”, “The Play”, or “The Playoff” see Nyyjerya describe dire material conditions for the character that lead to violent or desperate actions with consequences. This leads us to track 10, “The Reasons”, a track about life and death. By track 11, “The Ascension”, the audience is left with an ending that is open to interpretation. The character either ascends out of their conditions into success or into a worse state. Another darker interpretation is that they died in “The Playoff” and “The Ascension” is a euphoric state of either near-death hallucinations or heaven. On a surface level, the track can also represent the rise of Bulletproof Soul.
“This album was an opportunity to introduce us and the values that make Bulletproof Soul. We are diverse in who we are but in solidarity for things that matter like the culture and community. In particular, people shouldn’t be faced with such impossible, drastic decisions to simply live safe and comfortable lives,” the group shares.
The album cover is bordered by an adapted public domain poem from William Morris, “The Earthly Paradise: Apology”, of which also helps illustrate many themes from the album. The likes of Nyyjerya, DJ Sabrina, and the rest of Bulletproof Soul’s features are formidable narrators for such complex issues. For the effort, meaning and talent on display, the collective’s ascension seems only inevitable.
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