Sammus + Bells Atlas (Album Release)
1100 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is an Ithaca-raised, Philadelphia-based rap artist, producer, and PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. Known as much for her rousing stage presence as she is for her prowess as a beatmaker and lyricist, Sammus has spent the past several years cultivating a strong following of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-identified nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus “has a gift for getting a message across.” Having recently made her Don Giovanni debut (while remaining tied to NuBlack Music Group), she is poised to cement herself as an artist who consistently thinks outside boxes and dances across lines (and does other neat things with geometrical figures).
In addition to managing a full-time music career, Enongo has spent the past eight years as a public-school and college level educator. After graduating from Cornell University in 2008 with a double BA in Sociology and Science & Technology Studies, she was accepted into the national teaching program Teach for America and placed in Houston Texas, where she taught elementary math and science between 2008 to 2010. In the fall semester of 2011 she returned to Cornell as a PhD candidate to pursue an interest a wide array of sound studies topics, including sound and gaming as well as the identity politics of community studios. As an academic in training and very-vocal feminist, Enongo has produced articles for publications such as Bitch, For Harriet, Sounding Out!, and The Mary Sue related to issues of race, hip-hop, gaming, and feminism.
Soulful noise pop, inspired, propellent psych pop… Trying to nail down the sound of Bells Atlas is a bit like narrating the inner workings of a kaleidoscope – where it's more about tripping out than nailing it down.
A surreal blend of r&b, psychedelia, jazz, and pop, rooted in the cultural bellwether of Oakland, CA, Bells Atlas has supported a number of international artists and shared the stage with acts such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Badbadnotgood, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, W. Kamau Bell, Angélique Kidjo and more. They have also been making a name for themselves nationally as the touring band for NPR’s Snap Judgment since 2016, and recently wrapped up a sold-out tour supporting Bermuda Triangle, side-project of Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard.
Channeling at once the ramshackle lo-fi beats of Tune-Yards and the sighing lullabies of Sade, Bells is like the passing bubbles of an unknown aquatic life-form, music percolates from depths untaken, playing in a deep blue pool of life, death and the fluid in-between.
Space Captain is a Brooklyn based psych-soul group signed to UK indie label Tru Thoughts and includes members Maralisa Simmons-Cook (vocalist/lyricist), Alex Pyle (bass and production), Gray Hall (guitar and production), Mike Haldeman (guitar), Joy Morales (keyboard) and Lessie Vonner (trumpet). They have appeared with BADBADNOTGOOD, Ghostface Killah, Nick Hakim, Khruangbin, Palehound, Kendra Morris and more. Lauren Laverne of BBC Radio 6 Music calls them "really interesting...a sound of their own."
Their initial release, 'Easier / Remedy', a double A-side reissue of two early tracks, received heavy play from Don Letts (BBC 6Music) and new music guru John Kennedy on his XFM X-posure show. In a period of open-minded experimentation via live shows and studio jams, Space Captain have alighted on a progressive fusion of R&B and psychedelic rock with tentacles spinning out into soul, hip hop, electronica and noise. The 'In Memory' EP finds singer/lyricist Maralisa Simmons-Cook exploring darker, more personal subjects with themes of mourning, the life cycle, lightness verses darkness, death and rebirth. 'In Memory' has since seen notable play on Spotify's Fresh Finds Playlist, BBC Radio 6 Music and Bandcamp Weekly. Michael Gonzales (The Wire) wrote, "Space Captain's embrace of beauty is obvious. But it's nice to know they can get ugly when they want to."
The band's debut record 'All Flowers In Time' (October 2017 release) channels seemingly disparate genres into a stirring, progressive proposition laced with stealthily addictive hooks. It has seen support from Indie Shuffle, DJ Mag, Communion Music, The Deli Magazine, Earmilk, Okayplayer and Bandcamp, with the latter stating, "everything is discussed here—the good times and emotional pain, the darkness and spiritual breakthrough.” Following east and west coast regional tours in support of the album, the band has since released a series of acoustic and extended versions including “Cells (Extended),” “Hours (Extended),” and “Flood (Alt. Version),” “Flood” seeing frequent radio play from BBC. Space Captain has also released multiple remixes including “Cells” by labelmates The Seshen, “Blue” by labelmate Sly5thAve, “Sycamore” by Son Lux’s Ian Chang and “Loveline” by multi-instrumentalist and producer Jesse Fischer. Their songs have been included on Spotify’s Chillmatic, Sweet Soul Sunday and Mellow Morning playlists.