700 Bliss Spa 700 Halcyon Veil / Don Giovanni
Pulsing with eerie vitality, the cleansing sounds of Spa 700 perhaps hint at the EP’s namesake.
700 Bliss is the project of Philadelphia duo Camae Ayewa and Zubeyda Muzeyyen – known as Moor Mother and Discwoman-affiliate DJ Haram, respectively. Together they deal in intricate, breathless polyrhythms – both in terms of percussion (be that an 808 or delicately jagged brushes of finger cymbals) as well as Ayewa’s vocal delivery. Industrial quakes melt into sheens of dissonant Middle Eastern melodics, while Ayewa invokes snarling punk-rap lyricism (“Don’t hate bitch/ You still in here trying to code switch”).
The EP is short and concise, which in turn imbues every moment with more intent – be that harrowing slave-ship imagery of opener Basic, the meditative hip-hop production on Ring the Alarm or Living’s feminine energy (“Relearn everything grandma taught”). The overarching question here is about race (“That anti-black’s programmed in your head/ now you wanna steal my culture”), but there are no easy answers, and there’s not a clearcut line to end on. Instead Spa 700 gives a space to ruminate and rage, to bathe in diasporic sonics, and come out feeling both enriched and enraged. It’s a journey that’s at once cathartic, but leaves you charged with the adrenaline to fight.