Africatown, AL - Ancestor Sounds

Africatown, AL - Ancestor Sounds

Regular price $14.99

A collection of landmark recordings of residents from the Africatown neighborhood in Mobile, AL, Ancestor Sounds features descendants from the Clotilda, the last ship to bring enslaved people across the Atlantic to America. Conceived by GRAMMY-winning producer Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Zomba Prison Project) and his wife, Italian Rwandan filmmaker and photographer Marilena Umuhoza Delli, the project features musical accompaniment from the local community as well as ambient recordings from the factories that surround and pollute the community. Meant as an impressionistic document rather than a definitive historical narrative, all recordings were captured on-site as live, first takes. The outdoor nature of the recordings graphically renders the encroaching and ominous industrial sounds and foregrounds the environmental racism that has plagued the community. Years before, in rural northern Ghana, Brennan had been struck by a hand painted “Alabama Barbershop” sign. This seemed particularly telling given the region’s link to the transatlantic slave trade. In another uncanny parallel, a Blues musician in Mobile pulled out a Kologo, a northern Ghanaian instrument, which he knew by another name. These surprising and often arresting “ancestor sounds” resonate across centuries and continents on this important, irreplaceable document.

Track Listing:

1. Run, If You Can (Don’t Go Down that Road)
2. Family Secret
3. Do You Hear Me Now?
4. Lead Me Home
5. Black Part of Town
6. Illegal Factory (Smokestack Sighs)
7. Africatown in Their Face
8. Kept Me
9. First Thing He Did When Freed Was Build a Drum
10. Haunted by Her Capture
11. Sent to Vietnam, But Never Been to Africa
12. Only Black School
13. Reconstructed Memory
14. Cudjoe’s Statue Defiled
15. Birdsong Beside the Refinery
16. Walk With Thee
17. Graveyard Shift Emissions
18. The Blues Return (Taking Flight)

Catalog Number: DIRT-CD-0115

UPC: CD ( 877746011528)

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