August 5, 2020
As a younger person, I often considered science hovering around the fringes of sci-fi to be "white." The portal opening, star gate unlocking, laser pistol wielding heroes were mostly nerdy white guys. Moor Mother and Rasheedah Philips decided to turn that image on its head as Black Quantum Futurism through "living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future’s reality". One of the aspects of quantum physics that has intrigued me is the non-linearity of time. "Waiting Time/Weighting/Wading Time" pieces together audio snippets of the historical elements of Juneteenth and reclaim them through sifting, layering and sequencing. This EP feels like the past, present, and future converging at a node created by the power of these two artists' creative vision.
Moor Mother's rap/noise/jazz assaults here are virtually non-existent. In their place are dialogue snippets, phantom noises, and loops that are layered as sound collage monuments on two of the tracks ("wading for the hour" and "watch night service"). It's unclear whether these haunting sound sculptures are celebratory or ominous warnings. "day zero" in contrast contains experimental vocal sounds invoking poultry in a coop that are set atop a decaying harsh synth stab and an emerging somber violin bed. This is easily the most striking of the three tracks.
I would hazard a guess that most people are still not familiar with Juneteenth. A thoughtful PDF written piece is included with the download of "Waiting Time/Weighting/Wading Time..." and this is a necessary read in order to fully understand the powerful vision that these two artists have in mind here. What stuck out for me the most upon my initial reading was the artists' refutation of the ways in which societies, particularly European ones, have sought to codify and quantify the measurement and dictate the value of time ("the master clock"). The reader will also appreciate the historical documents and photos to situate this EP's concepts, made ever more urgent as the destiny of African Americans and society as a whole is unfolding so rapidly.