In April of this year we released Earthbound on Porto Franco Records, a small San Francisco based indie label. We had the opportunity to work with some amazing people, NASA scientists, musicians, authors, and artists. This project is the sequel to that effort. Starbound is a remix app to Earthbound that will include millions of remixes that adapt to your input. Starbound is an ambitious project that will also include sonified light curves (the sound of actual stars), an augmented reality space flight game, and an interactive art widget that includes a comic book written by award winning sci-fi author Nnedi Okorafor, artwork by Facebook muralist Jonathan Matas and original illustrations by Tanna Tucker, and tons of unlockable content, from unreleased songs and artwork to star charts to mini-games and playable instruments. Please support our Kickstarter for STARBOUND!
"We're making science fiction real". That was all Scholar Black and me heard the head of the NASA Ames Research Center say as we were walking around taking pictures. "If I told you that I came from the stars/ would you think I was lying?" Check the moon rocks. And our fly new outfits. We gave NASA a few pointers before we jetted back to 2089. We'll be back to you so soon tho you won't even know we left!
Last week, we got a chance to join Jay Smooth on his show the Underground Railroad, New York's longest running hip-hop radio hour. It was a blast and an honor to share the show with Pittsburgh emcee Jasiri X (who we've been wanting to meet for a long time), as well as with Jay's tribute to Kiss FM, the New York station that was turning their dial to the off button as of last week. Check out our live in-studio performance here:
And for those of you who haven't checked out Jay Smooth's blog, IllDoctrine.com, you must. His commentary is funny, insightful, and straight up educational. We hope to be back on WBAI soooooooon!
MTV Iggy gave us a great little write up on its blog....Thanks y'all!
When three artists from the West Coast combine their shared Ethiopian roots and colorful solo careers, the end result is electric. For Meklit Hadero, Gabriel Teodros, and Burntface, aka Ellias Fullmore, a highly conductive hip-hop outfit aptly named CopperWire was born. The trio formed the band during a trip to East Africa — Meklit dropping vocal improvisations over the beats of Gabriel and Burntface — and from those organic beginnings comes their debut album Earthbound, out today.
Defined by the band as a hip-hop space opera, the trio’s debut record takes the talent from each member and forms a collective music that is truly out of this world. With sounds from actual stars (seriously, they joined forces with NASA) to Meklit’s dreamy vocal melodies and Burntface’s ethereal soundscapes, the group takes listeners on an extra-terrestrial, hip-hop-flavored journey.
Listen to Getazia 13 Zeritoicus-Oxygen (Gabriel), Professor Askala Bilaq (Burntface), and Ko Ai (Meklit), embody their Sci-Fi alter egos in the single “Phone Home.”
Here it is! The video for “Phone Home”, premiered yesterday on OkayAfrica.com. It features footage of the first ever hip-hop shows in Gondar and Harar, Ethiopia and NASA recordings of the cosmos. The music video also boasts appearances by Ethio-Jazz godfather Mulatu Astatke, and musicians Kaid and Saba Kahsay. Look out earthlings.
The Karman Line is the altitude at which an aircraft or a spacecraft no longer can use wings. At that altitude the atmosphere is so thin, that the speed required to use the lift force of the wing is enough for the aircraft to just orbit like a wingless satellite. It's approximately 100km above sea level.
Upholding her reputation as one of our most eclectic R&B stars-in-waiting, San Francisco singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero's latest project finds her playing lead in a self-proclaimed Ethiopian hip-hop space opera. Working with rapper Gabriel Teodros and producer Burntface under the collective name Copperwire, on its brilliant first album, "Earthbound," the group aims up to update the far-out grooves of Sun Ra and George Clinton's Funkadelic/Parliament through skittering club beats, lush strings and sound effects courtesy of NASA. The jazzy undercurrents of Hadero's solo work find their way into daring compositions like "Wake Up" and "Phone Home," giving the trio's unruly future funk the extra emotional kick it needs to send it into orbit.
This tune is an interpretation of the relationship between Mahalia Jackson and Albert Einstein. The two were friends, and Jackson would stay with Einstein whenever she performed at the then-segregated Princeton (where he a professor) and she was refused accommodation. We imagine the kind of love that could exist between two people who embodied infinity through such different, yet resonant paths.