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Matana Roberts Vinyl, CD & tapes by Matana Roberts at Norman Records

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Matana Roberts
Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis

Matana Roberts has now reached the fourth instalment in her highly praised Coin Coin series. With the first three records exploring avenues of avant-garde composition, ranging from a large band down to solo work, Chapter Four: Memphis restores the collaborative motif, and sees Roberts lay out her most diverse musical vision yet, based on her scholarly research and passion for her subjects. 

Matana Roberts
Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee

River Run Thee is the third entry in Matana Roberts' so far incredible 12-part musical tapestry (as she called it for part two, "sound quilting") about civil rights and the history of creativity in America. Roberts' discipline is jazz, specifically avant compositions on saxophone, but, as implied with her involvement with Montreal's Constellation label, she is interested in a plethora of experimental genres including post-rock, ambient, opera, gospel and a capella. River Run Thee almost completely departs from her jazz work for a record that takes drone and electro-acoustic noise as its base, while interconnecting different utterances of Roberts' voice as it appears and disperses. There's still sax in abundance, but this time it's processed and sustained to create a haunting sound. 

Matana Roberts
Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile

The second part of Matana Roberts' projected twelve-part jazz tapestry is an extremely confounding and yet gorgeously structured work, based around four-pronged suites of free jazz, operatic vocals, smooth spoken word narratives and gospel chants. The record rises and falls around these passages of music to show the personal and political implications of civil rights and racism in America.