Jazz fan Natalie Weiner launched a blog called The 1959 Project with day-to-day looks at the genre’s most famous year. When researching for my final year dissertation, Ted Gioia’s The History of Jazz was a valuable tome and it helped (I got a First for the dissertation). Jazz history is fascinating and enriching when you travel through every decade of progression. But one year stands out…

Modernism might have a white visage but Madlib’s brand of afro-modernism shouldn’t be overlooked. Film director James Cameron once said, “People call me a perfectionist, but I’m not. I’m a rightist. I do something until it’s right, and then I move on to the next thing.” Fans of Madlib – and Dilla – will be familiar with this ideal. Perfection fuels many creatives in how they…

Wrongtom created an hour-long spiritual jazz mix from his record collections last year and you should hear it. To warm up for the Sun Ra Arkestra is a huge accolade from my perspective as a fan. That’s precisely what Wrongtom was doing last March at the Islington Assembly Halls. Amongst the crowd was Cosmic Sounds label boss Zeljko Kerleta who requested a mix for the…

As it’s Sun Ra’s 100th birthday today, our Throwback Thursday is dedicated to the man from Saturn. Here, he speaks about his music and plays a few compositions including “Face The Music”. Many artists have helped mould the Sampleface aesthetic. Our logo is an obvious homage to DOOM and our strapline – “Face The Music” – is taken from Sun Ra’s song of the same…

The late Saturn-born jazz musician receives some credit from Lady Gaga as she quotes Sun Ra on her track, Venus. Jazz avant-gardes often become playthings for the rich and artsy; the more eccentric the better. Whether that was the intention here or not is questionable (excuse my cynicism) but Lady Gaga gave a meat dress curtsy to Sun Ra on her single “Venus”, giving the…

It was Sun Ra’s 99th birthday yesterday (if you’re in the UK), so here are ten songs and projects inspired by the great man. Call him eccentric, call him crazy but never call him unoriginal. Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount, was born on 22nd May in 1914 and during his stay on Earth, he altered the jazz landscape with every new album and performance….

Ras G pays tribute to the late great Sun Ra on his 99th birthday with a new track. First off, happy birthday to Sun Ra. The mysterious man from Saturn would have been 99 years old today (on Earth at least) and in tribute to this, Los Angeles’ beat magician Ras G put together a track dedicated to him. Ras got much of his inspiration…

King Britt takes us on a journey through sound – Afrofuturistic sound – in his free mix. “Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of 20th century technoculture—and, more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future—might, for want of a better term, be called Afrofuturism.” – Mark Dery in “Black to the Future”,…