Sunday 23 January 2022, 7.30pm

Baba Yaga's Hut: Roger Robinson & The Black Space Quartet + Floating World Pictures

No Longer Available

Preeminent poet, writer, musician and vocalist Roger Robinson and his new band, The Black Space Quartet, deliver a knockout bout of heartical dub poetry and sultry R&B in a very special addition to our Documenting Sound series.

Highly regarded as the voice of King Midas Sound, and responsible for its frankly devastating lyrics, Roger Robinson is also a winner of the prestigious Ondaatje and T.S. Eliot Prizes - only the second writer of Caribbean heritage to ever win the latter. His poetry has also been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate and The Barbican among countless others, and he is a co-founder of London poetry collective Malika's Poetry Kitchen with fellow poets Malika Booker and Jacob-Sam La Rose.

With production by LSN and Ruby Jones’ vocal spar to front The Black Space Quartet, Robinson and the band here channel feelings on life and love into piercingly moving songs redolent of KMS’ moon-kissing nocturnes, but just as much recalling Tricky’s little-known but untouchable Nearly God art-melters.

Last heard on 2019’s crushingly bleak ’Solitude’ album with King Midas Sound, which took on uncanny meaning during lockdown, Roger here once again exposes a downbeat stroke guided by, as he describes “a yearning for the intimacy of gathering, a reflection of the skins hunger for human touch and hymns toward hope.” But far from the stark spoken narrative of that bruising last KMS album, here Robinson channels the most soulful vocals we’ve ever heard from him, oozing emotion and harking back to classic soulful motifs that now somehow feel like a cherished relic from another era.

These are moving, memorable, poignant songs - a precious sound document from one of the most important writers of our time.

Floating World Pictures

Just as haiku are rooted in close observation of nature and the seasons, a time and a place – a tiny meditation that both seizes the moment and brings about a much wider understanding – so too are the improvised explorations and tape manipulations of Floating World Pictures.

Joined by a shifting cast of collaborators, they spin a sensuous, densely populated soundscape: bird song and flowing waterfall synths, a rainforest of hisses and a thrumming hive of life while in the distance the metallic snaps of drums conjure people working. The antidotal energy of nostalgia, of memories revisited and half-remembered, play out. Synth lines cascade whilst zipping overtones ping & reverberate with a lightness of touch – both moving and playful as in the Japanese environmental music of the 1980s; whilst passages through dark woods inhabited by wild overtones and syncopated rhythms hint at the telepathic textural trips of mid 90s UK ambient and leftfield electronic.

Written, mixed and produced by Chestnutt & Raimund Wong at Total Refreshment Centre in London, FWP's debut LP "The Twenty-three Views" is released spring 2022 via Bristol label Friendly Recordings. Chestnutt is a founding member of Snapped Ankles. Raimund is a sound artist but most recognised for his graphic work for International Anthem & Church of Sound. FWP celebrates a wider independent network through working with Alabaster DePlume, Akihide Monna (Bo Ningen), Cathy Eastburn (Southbank Gamelan Players), Charles Prest & Kamal Rasool (Flamingods), Clémentine March, & Danalogue (The Comet is Coming).

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