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Onemind Presents Onemind

Rat Porridge - Live from the Plant

Voluminous Arts

  • £15.28 ( )
Cat: VOL012
Format: Cassette
Release Date: 29th March 2021
Genre: Experimental

A1. Eternal
A2. Exterminator
A3. Play
A4. Interlude
A5. Communiqué
A6. Live
A7. Between
B1. Death
B2. Luxury
B3. Strange
B4. Noise
B5. Beyond?

Jamaica Queens born artist Rat Porridge’s work is layered, complex and presents multiple entry points from which one can absorb its potent combination of intensities. One of these is the translucent green of the cassette tape and cover artwork that hold her inaugural release on Voluminous Arts in physical form. Another is the title of this debut album, Live from the Plant. Together these two creative choices already present an interwoven set of meanings and associations that allow entry to the depths that lie within her surging condensations of sonic information. The color green evokes both effusive botanical growth and the toxic sludge produced by manufacturing, while the words “Live” and “Plant” evoke similar associations through language. In her own words, “it’s very multi-meaning, the ‘plant’ is the organic plant of earth, and then there’s the ‘plant’ of the industrial plant. The plant could be a lot of different things, and it’s all those things.” On Live from the Plant, Rat Porridge uses the permeable and malleable properties of sound to engage the relationships between these multiple meanings in ways that orient themselves towards healing and towards ancestral time, rather than colonial models of binary opposition and categorization. Space and its relationship to the body is a core concept connecting multiple threads of meanings in Rat’s work. Her songs are permeated by field recordings, gathered from spaces, such as shuttered shopping areas, within her environment that have been left empty of commerce and full of possibility after outliving their use to extractive commodity-based market interests. They also reverberate with the physical spaces in which they were recorded; bedroom and basement, critical and traditional sites of underground artistic exploration and community building. Her voice resonates from within the space of her physical body and echoes back from the rooms she works in, creating one of many cumulative forms of repetition present in the work. Repetition also plays a role in her lyrics, which repeat enough times to give listeners added meaning with each engagement. This awareness of space, and of one’s place and power within it grows from her engagement with performance art, activism and the communities she is a part of. As one listens to the album, it becomes a transcription of these interrelated activities, one that charts a trajectory of both individual and collective healing as she ecstatically expands on the rhythmic cycling present in both dance floor oriented music and what mental health practitioners refer to as “circular thinking”. With repetition and a circular continuity at their pulsing core, Rat Porridge’s works on Live from the Plant unleash a regimentation-shattering energy that is saturated with multiple temporalities, locations and emotions. Rat’s music, with all of its texture and performance, subverts expectations of what healing art should be: “I feel like there’s an association with

so-called ‘healing’ music that it should only be soft, ambient or like easy listening or something like that… relaxing… I listen to things like that, and it's not like I’m not using some of those sounds… but there’s something with just like addressing the brokenness, or addressing the really difficult parts as well, that is like, a step towards the deeper healing.... I’m opening up and so is the art.”

Rat Porridge is a multidisciplinary artist born in Jamaica, Queens and currently residing in West Philadelphia. Her creative practice, which centers itself around performance art, grew naturally from her experiences attending DIY art and music events in both New York and Philadelphia. In 2018 she began making recorded music, first as a component of her performances and later as something that began to take on a life of its own. When opportunities arose for Rat to engage more deeply with the recording process, she shifted from working strictly within a digital environment to playing tracks she had created in Ableton through an amplifier in her bedroom, re-recording them, then overlaying these acoustic resonances of her living space with field recordings. This approach intentionally disturbs the regimentation imposed by market forces on underground music production by refusing to adhere to sonic qualities associated with a single genre. The role of the creative arts in decolonization as a way to imagine a world outside of capitalism is a core organizing concept for her evolving and complex vision. Her debut album Live from the Plant will be released on Voluminous Arts on March 21st, 2021 as a digital album and limited edition cassette, which includes elements of her visual artwork.
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