New York producer Slauson Malone returns with his latest project, Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak), an emotional and experimental nine-track offering that floats through genres and melancholy, through loss and solace. A quick google defines Vergangenheitsbewältigung as a German phrase about the “struggle to overcome the negatives of the past” or to simply “work through the past.” Each song title coincides with his Crater Speak catalog published with Midway Contemporary with track names listing earmarked pages.
Slauson Malone, born Jasper Marsalis, is the son of famed jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis and a former member of the Brooklyn music collective Standing on the Corner. His new effort, while a deep dive into genre-less ambitions, still leaves lingering traces of hip-hop and experimental jazz within a murky and surreal headspace. In just under a half-hour, Slauson utilizes minimalist acoustic guitar, offers complex, stream-of-consciousness bars and collaborates with full string sections. He thanks Nick Hakim and Injury Reserve in the liner notes while Leland Whitty of BadBadNotGood lends his Alto Saxophone to the project.
The album cover stems from a fan’s tattoo of his previous album A Quiet Farwell, Twenty Sixteen to Twenty Eighteen‘s artwork. The chance meeting was revisited in a recent Instagram post. Vergangenheitsbewältigung premiered earlier today with a heartfelt open letter through Slauson Malone’s Bandcamp. It reads:
“My fear, my loneliness, my happiness. My blackness, my queerness, my objectness. I am haunted by likenesses. I’m haunted by my self. _____ like a _____. Smile, Simile. Message, Massage. Vergangenheitsbewältigung.
(Crater Speak) is the title of a catalog I published with Midway Contemporary. It is an unreliable guide of materials that influence my artistic and musical practice, loosely defined into associative chapters, outlining a perimeter. That perimeter being the rim of a ‘crater’. An absence present. Here by unimaginable heat, scale, speed, and violence. Collision to disintegration to (see The Thing 1982).
“The rings of Saturn consist of ice crystals and probably meteorite particles describing circular orbits around the planet’s equator. In all likelihood these are fragments of a former moon that was too close to the planet and was destroyed…” – W. G. Sebald, Rings of Saturn. To become a star is to become certain death. Of stone, of (s)tar, petrified. R U SCARED? Rocks will surely be here when we’re not as Leopold’s ghost. Of muck, mud, oil, bones to Power. A New World by refined old old old Death.”
Stream Slauson Malone’s latest release below. In more music updates, Blood Orange released a new track titled “CALL ME (Freestyle)”.