Matana Roberts "Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden" 2X10" (2023)
Matana Roberts "Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden" 2X10" (2023)
Matana Roberts "Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden" 2X10" (2023)

Matana Roberts "Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden" 2X10" (2023)

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Details: Matana Roberts "Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden" 2X10" (2023, Constellation Records). Black vinyl edition is a double 10" pressed at Optimal (DE) packaged in a wide spine 350gsm jacket with colour flood inside, 300gsm printed inners, and 170gsm 500x250mm fold-out artwork/liner notes insert. Includes DL card. All printed on uncoated papers and boards, featuring mixed-media collage artworks by Matana Roberts. New stock, sealed.

Description: "Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden… is the latest instalment in composer, improviser, saxophonist, and visual artist Matana Roberts’ visionary project exploring African-American history through ancestry, archive and place. Weaving together elements of jazz, avant-garde composition, folk and spoken word, Roberts tells the story of a woman in their ancestral line, who died following complications from an illegal abortion. At a time when reproductive rights are under attack, her story takes on new resonance. “I wanted to talk about this issue, but in a way where she gets some sense of liberation,” Roberts explains. By unpacking family stories and conducting extensive research in US public archives, Roberts has created a rounded portrait of a woman who is, as their lyrics put it, “electric, alive, spirited, fire and free.”

Each part of Coin Coin explores radically different musical settings, from the free jazz and post-rock eruptions of Chapter One to the solo noise collage of Chapter Three. Featuring a new ensemble steeped in jazz, improvisation, new music and avant-rock, helping to expand the project’s existing sonic palette, Chapter Five is no exception. Roberts is joined by fellow alto saxophonist Darius Jones, violinist Mazz Swift (Silkroad Ensemble, D’Angelo), bass clarinettist Stuart Bogie (TV On The Radio, Antibalas), alto clarinettist Matt Lavelle (Eye Contact, Sumari), pianist Cory Smythe (Ingrid Laubrock, Anthony Braxton), vocalist/actor Gitanjali Jain and percussionists Ryan Sawyer (Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley) and Mike Pride (Pulverize The Sound, MDC). The late, great trumpeter jaimie branch, who was due to play on the album, receives a credit for “courage”. The album is produced by TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, who also contributes synths. ...

While this new chapter of Coin Coin focusses on a female-identified protagonist, others haven’t (Chapter Three being from the perspective of a male ancestor) and Roberts intends for future chapters to continue to cover the breadth of the gender spectrum, as well as their Native American heritage. “I'm proud that people say that the Coin Coin work speaks of a woman's story. But I want to make sure that it retains its inclusivity, because what we look like is not always what you see.” This reflects Roberts’ own experiences as a queer person of colour. For the remaining chapters of Coin Coin, Roberts will continue exploring identity and ancestry. “Expect it to keep heading towards a liberation of the human spirit.” 

Grade: M (new stock)


01. we said
02. different rings
03. unbeknownst
04. predestined confessions
05. how prophetic
06. a caged dance
07. i have long been fascinated
08.enthralled not by her curious blend
09. no way chastened
10. but i never heard a sound so long
11. the promise
12. shake my bones
13. a(way) is not an option
14. for they do not know
15. others each
16. ...ain't i. ...your mystery is our history