SWIT’s Long Player Of The Week: Radio Diaspora 2 by Radio Diaspora

Radio Diaspora – Radio Diaspora 2

I have to be honest, the term “free jazz” fills me with trepidation, I mean how many bad jams and untalented charlatans can hide under that cloak? Perhaps I’m biased or uninformed (highly likely) – anyway I have my prejudices so I approached “Radio Disapora 2” with some wariness but also with the assurance that the recording was being released on the Brazilian label Sê-lo!, which we’ve come to know and respect over the past 6 months or so.

So what do we have? Well first off – superlative and sympathetic playing across the six tracks on the album. We’ve got songs too, spoken word, fragments, samples, improvisations – improvisations that illuminate and uplift. The sinuous, fluid trumpet of Rômulo Alexis is simply breath-taking. The overall effect is an endlessly fascinating dream-journey through a city of the imagination, teeming with a million different stories.

Radio Diaspora are Rômulo Alexis (trumpet, flute, other wind instruments and vocals) and Wagner Ramos (drums and electronics). They aim to reflect “the sonorous polyphony of black cultural heritage and the African diaspora”, rejecting the monopolistic representation of white culture, instead documenting a shared journey marked by expropriation, genocide, slavery and, above all, resistance and invention.

In doing so they’ve delivered a beautiful, wildly experimental, at times disturbing and thought-provoking polyphonic spree. Hey, I don’t know much about free jazz but I know what I like.

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