Saul Williams Shares Video “Encrypted & Vulnerable”

Poet, musician, performer Saul Williams has released his new album Encrypted & Vulnerable (Pirates Blend), the first album he’s ever categorized as ‘spoken word’, Encrypted & Vulnerable is the second in a series of three albums and part of the multi-tiered MartyrLoserKing project. The album is self-produced by Williams, mixed by Warp artist Gonjasufi and features contributions from Dave Sitek, My Brightest Diamond, Grammy-winning trumpet player Christian Scott (Atoms For Peace), astrophysicist Bianca Rhym, King Britt, Orko Eloheim, Thavius Beck, CX KiDTRONiK, Paul Whiteman and Lippie. The album also acts as the score to his directorial debut musical, Neptune Frost, executive produced by Stephen Hendelbased on the graphic novel Williams will be releasing in 2020 about African hackers living in a village made of upcycled computer parts. Of the album, Williams explains: “Encrypted & Vulnerable is simultaneously a personal and intimately optimistic takedown on struggle, defiance, awareness, aloneness, and a takedown of heteronormative capitalistic patriarchal authoritarian politics in topics ranging from love, technology, religion, war, to migration.” 

With the new album, Williams’ goal was to touch people in new ways with what he calls “invisible and implied beats”. While listening fans will find themselves bumping their head to the tracks that have no drums, achieved through Saul Williams demanding grasp on language through his poetry as well as how he programmed the music: “I wanted to make an album with invisible beats- I always want people to dance – but this time I wanted the drums to be DIY. I figured the drums in your head could be crazier & more complex than anything I could program. So I started working on sounds that would instigate that. You feel the rhythm & you’re already dancing in anticipation of the drums… that was one goal of the album.”