I recently stumbled across this beautiful mix and interview by King Britt which explores the diverse expressions of Afrofuturism in African American music. Cosmic Culture is a classic compilation that highlights some of the most influential and progressive artists in African American musical history. King Britt weaves a magical thread from an eclectic variety of genres and takes the listener on a journey into a world of psychedelic jazz, funk, and dub. This world is a higher dimension teeming with the gods and mythical beings of African American music — Sun Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, Miles Davis and others — with each sonic experience transitioning seamlessly across a dreamlike soundscape. In the interviews King Britt and others discuss how these sounds played a pivotal role in shaping the development of contemporary Afrofuturism.

King Britt explains the background to this mix on Okayfuture:

I was asked a few months ago to curate a show on Afrofuturism and its influences on me and my compositional work. Afrofuturism is a term originated by Mark Dery who did an essay in the New York Times in 1995 called “Black To The Future.” It became a very famous term among Afro American musicians who embrace Science Fiction, realities of space and time, and who tend to look at other worlds, comic books, and that sort of thing, as a way of escape. You have authors like Octavia Butler who wrote Kindred and other amazing books, Kodwo Eshun who wrote More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction, which really go into breaking down what Afrofuturism is. But basically it is the African American sound that embraces Science Fiction pioneered by artists Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sun-Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, DJ Spooky, just to name a few.

You can listen to the Cosmic Culture mix here or on King Britt’s Soundcloud.

Track List

Part 1: Yesterday

  • “Kawaida” -Kawaida
  • “Gamla Stan” – Don Cherry
    plus: an interview with Alondra Nelson
  • “Ostinato” – Herbie Hancock (as Mwandishi)
  • “John McLaughlin” – Miles Davis
  • “Space Is the Place (Live)”- Sun Ra
    plus: an interview with Pearl Britt
  • “Feel”- George Duke
  • “Rien Neva Plus” – Funk Factory
  • “Cabral” – Mtume feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • “Radhe Shyam” – Alice Coltrane
    plus: an interview with Sun Ra

Part 2: Today (Megamix)

  • “African Roots”- King Tubby
  • “Eyjafjallajokul” – Mad Professor
  • “Zodiac Shit” – Flying Lotus
  • “Ahoulaghuine Akaline (King Britt Remix)” – Bombino
  • “Teleport” – Headless Headhunters
  • “Nights Over Nantes” – Jneiro Jarel
  • “Castles” – HouseShoes feat. Jimetta Rose
  • “Brgundy” – MndDsgn
  • “Connect” – Some Other Ship
  • “All in Forms (Leatherette Remix)” – Bonobo
  • “Light Odyssey” – Union
  • “Planetary Analysis” – King Britt feat. Rich Media
  • “Discipline 3” – Ras G
    plus: an interview with Sun Ra
  • “Heritage Ship” – Madlib
  • “Emotional Quotient Deringer of Chiek Anta Diop” -King Britt feat. Rilners Jouegck
  • “New Wave” -Common feat. Stereolab
  • “The Stars Are Singing Too” – Build an Ark
  • “Bug in the Bassbin” – Innerzone Orchestra
  • “Raven” – Actress
  • “Voodoo Ray” – A Guy Called Gerald
  • “Dem Young Scones” – Moodymann
  • “Flower (King Britt’s Underwater Garden Dub Remix)” – Soul Dhamma
  • “Planet Rock” – Afrika Bambaataa
  • “Mozaik” – Zomby
  • “Endgame” – Antipop Consortium
  • “Loveless” – 4Hero feat. Ursula

Part 3: Tomorrow

  • “Beyond the Sun (Live)” – Fhloston Paradigm
  • “Endeavors for Never (The Last Time We Spoke You Said You Were Not Here. I Saw You Though.)” – Shabazz Palaces

Via: Visual Melt and Okayfuture