Following up their 2013 debut, Burn, Sons Of Kemet take us on a high-octane journey with their highly anticipated follow-up entitled “Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do.”
From the start “In Memory Of Samir Awad” sets the pace. As my favorite track on the album, the band delivers a tense, unsettling groove throughout with blistering percussion and some seriously hypnotic horns. The song was written to commemorate a Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces as he fled their gunfire in 2013. As the album progresses, we find the quartet getting more and more experimental.
Another pivotal track on Lest We Forget… is the earthy and ceremonial Afrofuturism, which takes the band’s explorations of Caribbean roots into new realms. The bass rhythm is based on a traditional Barbadian style called tuk, with a bass and snare drum; similar to fife music from New Orleans, but also West African roots, and Western military band music.
Other standouts include the hard-hitting and intense “Tiger,” “Breadfruit” throws up a skittering yet controlled soundscape, and closing track “Play Mass” is something a bit special.
Just as Burn blazed through unpredictable atmospheres and effects, Bandleader Hutchings incorporates far-reaching influences on Lest We Forget… These range from his relationship with classical concepts (Mo’ Wiser), to literary inspirations on tracks such as In The Castle Of My Skin (named after Barbadian author George Lamming’s 1953 novel about post-colonial identity) and The Long Night Of Octavia Butler, in homage to the award-winning African-American sci-fi writer.
“When I read books I love, they kind of put a trance over me, and Octavia Butler particularly has that effect,’ says Hutchings. ‘I was thinking about her 1998 novel Parable Of The Talents; it presents a futuristic vision that is just close enough to normality to make you unsettled.”
This is one of those albums which thrills on every level; everything is executed to perfection.
Sons Of Kemet remind us why we fell in love with back in 2013, as they continue to develop and evolved into something even stronger.