Cam Lasky - Ring Shout
Ring Shout by Cam Lasky
P. Djl Clark's Ring Shout was a retelling of the atrocities committed by the Ku Klux Klan after the American Civil War, with an element of fantasy and horror. I was greatly shocked when I came across this book and at the same time I couldn't resist the desire to musicalise it. This is because the book is a horror-fantasy based on the culture of the American South in the 1920s. And because my current career as a dance music producer started with House Music.
It is not the main plot of the story that makes Ring Shout interesting, but all that it carries with it in exploring the history of racism in the United States. P. Djèlí Clark's novel is a cosmogony, a mythological and historical narrative that describes the creation of hatred through multiple references that are now part of a common culture and imagination of African-American populations. They are found in many other contemporary writings, notably in the books of Colson Whitehead. It refers to D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation, released in 1915, whose success revived the Ku Klux Klan, whose members are presented as the saviours of an America prey to the savagery of the black man. The film inspired a certain W.J. Simmons to erect a burning cross on top of Stone Mountain in Georgia, during a ceremony where he signed the charter for the creation of the new KKK and had himself inducted as Grand Wizard. The re-enactment of this historical scene provides the setting for the final chapter of P. Djèlí Clark's book. It also tells of the Tulsa Massacre, and the 369th Infantry Regiment, or the Night Doctors, and the haunted Angel Oak.
In particular, I discovered the Gullah Geechee community, descendants of slaves who now occupy land along the coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. Geographically isolated from the rest of the continent, they have developed their own culture of cuisine, traditional medicine, mysticism, music and language. Gullah mysticism and music come together in the Ring Shout, the songs that are said to be the origin of African-American music such as the blues. The novel is about this.
I wanted to try to make this story work as dark bass music without overt percussion or singing. And I wanted to keep a consistent worldview, so I decided to produce it as an album.
Release March 17, 2023
1. The Sight (Original Mix)
2. Shouters (Original Mix)
3. Butcher (Original Mix)
4. Sword and Winchester (Original Mix)
5. Funeral (Original Mix)
6. Night Doctors (Original Mix)
7. Birth of a Nation (Original Mix)
8. Cyclops (Original Mix)
Music Inspired by P. Djèlí Clark - Ring Shout
Recorded: December 2022 - January 2023
Studio: Skylarxtudio, westerindustrix; Kyoto
Co-Produced by Gecco Meco (Babie GION)
Produced, Written and All Performed by Cam Lasky
© 2023 Cam Lasky, DJs & associates. LLC (JASRAC)