Ras G – ‘Back On The Planet’ LP [Brainfeeder]

Absolutely love the vein that Ras G taps. The cosmic stylings that long ago evolved past beat tape phases in to loose free flowing composition just get better the more Ras releases, and this latest LP – Back On The Planet – is probably his finest offering to date. Not taking anything away from the split 7’s, beat tapes, free releases or anything else from the LA producer’s catalogue, including the hectic Raw Fruit cassette that dropped a few months back on Leaving Records, but as far completed LPs Ras G has served up his masterstroke.

Although we don’t shout him out week after week, we’ve been clocking the Sun-Ra influenced stylings of Ras proper consistently. Going back to to when the Day & Night EP with Black Monk (check ‘Hummin’ In The Sun‘) was under £10 on Discogs, when Low End Theory was just a night and people were largely ignoring Flying LotusLos Angeles still, Ras G was selling CDs at Poo-Bah Records and even then doing it better than the rest, if infinitely more understated.

Without revisiting those earlier records, while listening to Back On Earth it’s sort of hard to remember the head-nod bass bounce that once defined Ras G’s work. Even when he ventures back in to that territory through the middle of this album the drum patterns and changes are masterful; the guy may be on his own branch of jazz for the most part, but knows how to incorporate this in to his roots of destroying a beat damn heavily.

The to be expected space samples, Sun Ra dropped vibes and hi-tech electronic alien sounds are ever present, but complimented with new areas of rhythm such as tribal drums and constant ratchet ticks all making good use of tape-delay. On this records Ras G has been able to create his own environment of sound for each track,  almost like a circular barrier or a bubble where all his structures and compositions exist purely for us to sit in the middle of and enjoy. Sort of like the musical magic garden.

What’s really impressive about this is how easy it is to get drawn in to, especially on the first four cuts of the record where the tracks seem to work together to set the scene for the full sixteen joint affair. Someone once said (can’t remember who, can’t find it online) of Miles Davis that “if you give him a moment of listening he’ll grab you and hook you in…and once you’re in you’re in.” Starting to feel the same way about Ras G.

Released via FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label, we really need to recommend you check this out and open up your ears in the process. It officially drops next week, though a few stores (including Norman Records) are selling early if not taking pre-orders.

via Ninjatune
Sun Ra once spoke a future where the mere thought of a place would take somebody there. In the past future of today, Ras G explores space and time through his ancient/futuristic music. Dusty, ethereal and bugged out, the Crate Creator’s beats bring the past to the future. Back On The Planet, _G’s first Brainfeeder release in years, finds the blunted master of the beat guiding his Afrikan Space Program further out than ever.

Since his arrival on the planet, Ras G has called Los Angeles his base. Growing in South Central, _G was tapping into his innate knowledge while having the earthly experience of living in the “ghetto.” Gravitating towards the turntables early, _G spent formative years DJing spots like Project Blowed and Five On The Black Hand Side in Leimert Park until his cousin Wolverine introduced him to the SP-1200 and thoughts of production became realities. Equally informed by the looped-up dust of classic boom-bap and the avant-garde esotericism of free jazz, _G began paving his own path in the beats. He cut his teeth in the early days of Low End Theory and in precursor nights like JuJu and Sketchbook. Day long hangouts at record spots like Aaron’s (RIP) and Poo Bah’s laid the foundation for projects, live experimentations and new experiences. A key pillar in the Los Angeles community, _G is the power-forward of the Brainfeeder crew, down since day one.

After amassing a sizable discography of 7″s, EPs and digital releases on a host of platforms, Ras G & The Alkebulan Space Program are Back On The Planet for their most complete demonstration to date. The countless nights at SpaceBase behind the MPC and SP-303 have seen _G come fully into his own. On this project past experiments in chest-rattling bass, terse loops and bugged-out field noise come full circle. Ancient Afrikan poly-drum rhythms meet outer-synth splashes of white noise and intuitive experimentation meld with deep sub-harmonics for an otherworldly experience. “Asteroid Storm” captures the pulsating energy of The ASP’s live demonstrations while “Natural Melanin Being…” finds _G’s Uncle Ra sharing a few words of wisdom that go very well with the therapeutic tones of the meditative “All Is Well…”. Back On The Planet is The ASP at it’s most confident, shedding all barriers for an open and honest manifestation. Drawing from a source beyond the ego and dealing with the eternal, Ras G & The Ancient Space Program are a cosmic outfit, eternally elsewhere but always in tune.