MC/Lyricist Raw Poetic (aka Jason Moore) announces Space Beyond The Solar System (22nd Century Sound), his new album out December 9th, 2022, and presents its lead single, “A Mile In My Head,” featuring legendary saxophonist Archie Shepp. Although Space Beyond The Solar System could be considered a concept album by its outcome, its inception started from a string of experiments between Moore and frequent collaborator/producer Damu the Fudgemunk. These initial sessions had no specific direction but became the catalyst for what would become a prolific wave of Raw Poetic projects; five of which have been released since 2020.
It was these initial sessions and the demos they produced that convinced Shepp—who is also Raw Poetic’s uncle—to record what would eventually become 2020’s Ocean Bridges, a collaborative album from Raw, Damu, and Shepp. The trio’s collaboration continues on Space Beyond The Solar System, which boasts three tracks featuring the jazz legend, including today’s “A Mile In My Head,” a sprawling and thought-provoking album stand-out.
“I always liked ‘A Mile in My Head’’ because it really does break down a day in the life of our metropolitan area,” says Moore, who grew up in and around the Washington, DC area. “The sound provides such a backdrop that you can actually visualize the story. We’re in full hip-hop mode here.”
At two hours, absorbing Space Beyond in its entirety may be overwhelming for most, especially in the present day, but Raw and Damu are very aware of this. With a total of over 40-plus years experience between the vocalist and producer, the two of them went down memory lane taking every influence and experience in their personal histories to extract ingredients for a groundbreaking statement. Space Beyond The Solar System is their most comprehensive environment to date.
The creation of Space Beyond sparked a conversation between Raw and Damu about their creative chemistry, with Raw likening their direction to a “space beyond the solar system.” His comment was a eureka moment for the two artists, giving their wandering efforts a sense of definition that was needed. “I think we’ve been exploring music beyond our limits for a few years,” says Raw Poetic. “It’s hard to tell where we’ll land, but we are constantly pushing our way out of the norm. Hence the title, ‘Space Beyond the Solar System.’ It’s just to say, this is new territory for us. Where the sky was once the limit, now it’s just the start.”
Starting with the pair’s first collaborative album, 2017’s The Reflecting Sea: Welcome to a New Philosophy, Raw and Damu established a path for Raw Poetic’s music going forward. Embracing the mantra of “Welcome to a New Philosophy,” Raw and Damu have effortlessly lead themselves into new territories. “Working with Raw Poetic, he has always been the one person that brings different chambers out of me,” says Damu. “I don’t think I’d arrive at these places to share with our audience if it weren’t our collaboration. The type of stuff I do with Raw Poetic usually stays behind a curtain and listening back to ‘Space Beyond…’ I feel like I might have been robbing not only people who may listen, but robbing myself of who I am at any given moment. We always throw away the rule books. Everything is unconventional and based on emotion.”
With Space Beyond The Solar System, Raw Poetic and Damu have arrived in an unseen atmosphere. They choose to leave the mystery and ambiguity of their discoveries for the listener rather than trying to explain something they don’t even fully understand.
Raw Poetic will head overseas to headline the Jazz Cafe in London April 1, 2023. More European dates to be announced in the coming weeks.