Roots-reggae five-piece Akasha address immigration and discrimination on Mother of Exiles | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

Roots-reggae five-piece Akasha address immigration and discrimination on Mother of Exiles 

Plus: Label and multimedia collective FeelTrip ask for help opening their record store, and producer Jeremiah Meece of The-Drum drops a solo EP.

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click to enlarge Akasha - COURTESY THE ARTIST
  • Akasha
  • Courtesy the artist

Local roots-reggae five-piece Akasha expertly blend heavy dub grooves and the creamy vocals of singer Cosmos Ray. Their new album, Mother of Exiles, drops on Friday, December 7, on long-running Jamaican-inspired label Jump Up Records, and it features their most stridently political material yet. According to Ray, the album "addresses complex issues such as immigration, discrimination, and oppression, but with an approach infused by love, service, and unity." On Thursday, December 6, Akasha celebrate with a free live set at the Whistler as part of the Simmer Down Sound reggae party, which also includes DJs the Graduate, Rad Brian, MarcusIyah, and King Tony.

Last week, David Beltran and Diana Bowden, the guiding forces of local label and multimedia collective FeelTrip, launched an Indiegogo campaign for their record store in progress, No Requests. They've been working to open the Avondale shop since September, and unforeseen overhead costs have pushed back the opening date. They hope to raise $10,000 by 2019, and they're offering great perks to donors. (For details, visit On Sunday, December 9, FeelTrip will be among the local labels selling swag at the Slippery Slope during Not Normal Tapes' tenth-anniversary pop-up shop and show; CB Radio Gorgeous, Molcajete, and Roy Kinsey perform.

Experimental R&B duo The-Drum returned from hiatus with a rad new LP in July, and last week half the group, producer Jeremiah Meece, dropped the solo EP Inspiration via California dance label Knightwerk. Meece says the EP mixes old and new material—among the latter is the title track, a "stream-of-consciousness jam about the malaise of existence in the current climate," which could pass for Max Headroom fronting LaTour on a sequel to "People Are Still Having Sex." Not a complaint! Meece maintains monthly DJ residencies at Danny's Tavern and Punch House.  v

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