Recorded largely in Bristol and produced by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Ali Chant, mixed by Randall Dunn (Sunn O)))), with post-production by Ben Greenberg (The Men, Hubble, Uniform), touchstones on the uncompromising and impassioned album run from Southern rap to Northern soul, gospel to IDM, industrial to grime to italo.
More pertinent than ever before, The Underside Of Power follows Algiers' 2015 eponymous debut. The record touches on oppression, police brutality, dystopia, and hegemonic power structures. Its fiery lyrics encompass TS Eliot, the Old Testament, The New Jim Crow, Tamir Rice and Hannah Arendt, while carried by soulful and visceral songs, meditative moments and personal reflection.
This is the musical response that dark times demand. One that not only shakes its fist but deploys it. Locally-informed and globally based – Algiers refuse to sit idly by while most contemporary artists appear perfectly content to wait out the revolution. Not only do they harbour a purposeful sense of obligation in what they do on their latest resistance record, The Underside Of Power, but they recognise the roots and thorns of precedent in said resistance.
Led by vocalist and lyricist Franklin James Fisher, their shared experiences and collective understanding of this rising tide of sinister politics – growing up together in Atlanta and witnessing first-hand the pervasiveness of racialised and institutional violence – compels them to make music together, to combat the potentially crippling waves of frustration and despair and to let out a soulful roar, a call-to-action set to an eclectic, positively electric beat.
Words: Matador/Remote Control