The world is on fire #001 - Ash Lauryn
Don’t get us wrong; some algorithms work great. They have helped us discover amazing spaces, artists, writers and creators. But who is really aware of how segmented our recommendations have become?
We’re now so far down the algo-rabbit hole that even like minds are being unknowingly separated, despite their efforts, by engagement optimization engines. Even the best-intentioned music lovers find it hard to discover something unusual or out of their ‘bubble’.
In our bid to try to act in contrast to the algos - fuck the algos - we want to help people share recommendations the pre-Spotify way; through word of mouth.
Every week we will be asking two Detroit locals, OG to newcomers in our community, to share their story and five records they would send to our new home in space because the world is on fire.
Ash Lauryn is a DJ, Producer, and Writer from Detroit, MI. Now based in Atlanta, she runs the platform Underground & Black, host a monthly NTS show, and plays out around the world in some of the most prestigious music venues like Panorama Bar in Berlin. Her passion for Black music is inspiring and powerful, and her admired taste has led her to curate widely respected events such as the 2021 Boiler Room festival in New York. In 2021 she released her EP Truth, and in 2022 was the cover star of Faith Fanzine. Her potential has no bounds; her Underground & Black Movement party is always an event on the Memorial Day weekend lineup that no one should miss.
💾 Ash Lauryn- Truth EP
My first solo EP, so I suppose it goes without saying how important and personal this project is to me. It's got three different tracks for three different moods and a remix from the don Kai Alce. "Life is back" is a breezy, uplifting track filled with hope and excitement for life, and I think that's a vibe we can appreciate. "Truth" is a darker cut that reminds us to speak and live our Truth, a simple message that goes a long way.
💾 Louie Vega- Expansions in the NYC
The new Louie 4-pack album will be a timeless classic, and everyone needs it in their collection. The album features collaborations with everyone from Joe Claussell to Honey Dijon, and this project is a true representation of a master at work! I have had this on repeat since I bought it last week, and without a doubt, it will be the soundtrack to the summer. Def can't go to space without some proper House Music in tow for those days and nights when you need to let loose.
💾 Erykah Badu- Mama's Gun
I bought this album for the first time in 9th or 10th grade, and it's been close to me ever since. Whether heartaches or life transitions, this album has been with me through it all and can do the same for you. Who doesn't love some neo-soul, with elements of Soul, Jazz, and Funk?! Kinda blows my mind that I was so into this album at such a young age, but it always feels full circle when I listen to it now because it makes me realise that I was tapped into my preferred sound pretty early on. "Bag Lady", "Green Eyes", "Didn't Cha Know"; the list goes on, and every track tells a beautiful story. You should listen to this because it's art from a black woman that touches your soul and creates instantaneous warm energy.
💾 Ahmad Jamal Trio- The Awakening
A good friend of mine, and certified Jazz head, Scott Ashley, put me onto this album during 2020 quarantine when I was heavy into my exploring of the Jazz world. This is a record I love to throw on, on a Sunday morning while I roll one up and reflect on the week ahead. There are some pretty famous samples taken from this album used in the hip hop world, something you'll pick up on if you're a Nas or Common fan. Jazz is essential, and I definitely suggest this one for your collection- there's a real elegance to the sound, and it's not only gorgeous but healing.
💾 Mos Def- Black on Both Sides
Another classic that I grew up on back in my high school days. I'll never forget the first time I heard the album in full, riding in the back seat, tagging along with my older sister and one of her friends in his for Explorer. There's a lot of knowledge on this album, socially conscious lyrics, and messages to give us something to think about. The production is incredible, and if you haven't heard "Umi Says" or "Love", go ahead and do it now. The track titled "Rock n Roll" is also a personal favorite, and everyone should listen to be reminded that, contrary to popular belief- it was us, black folk, who created Rock n Roll.