Raw Poetic — the duo of MC/lyricist Jason Moore and guitarist P-Fritz (aka Patrick Fritz) — present new single, “Dank Ish,” from their forthcoming album, Away Back In, out August 25th on Def Pressé. Following 2022’s pair of releases of Laminated Skies and the triple-album Space Beyond The Solar System, Away Back In is a transcendent musical fusion of hip-hop, jazz, and garage rock, underpinned by the adroit drum programming and production of frequent collaborator Damu the Fudgemunk. “Dank Ish,” which follows the inherent tranquility of previously shared singles, “Ease Side” and “Numb”, allows listeners to kick back with Raw Poetic without overthinking the woes of life. Of “Dank Ish,” Moore says, “‘Dank Ish’ was initially just a play on a friend’s name, that turned into a mystical journey back to Africa after taking a sip of a drink. What was really in the drink, who knows!”
Hailing from the Northern Virginia / DC-metro area, Moore and Fritz have been collaborating on experimental hip-hop for the better part of two decades, first in the progressive hip-hop band Restoring Poetry in Music (RPM) and later in the acclaimed Rawkus-signed group, Panacea. Over the next several years, the two artists maintained a consistent friendship but it wasn’t until their collaborative album with Archie Shepp, 2021’s widely-praised Ocean Bridges, that they rediscovered their extraordinary chemistry and ability to fill a musical niche. By 2022, they had once again tapped into an invigorating creative workflow, yielding the aforementioned double release of Laminated Skies and Space Beyond the Solar System.
With no signs of slowing down, Away Back In emerges. Moore’s ability to melodically narrate everyday life in the kaleidoscope of the modern world is uniquely matched by Fritz’s consistent ability to supply the musical landscapes for this storytelling. Lyrics are seamlessly sung and spoken, taking listeners on a dark and mellifluous journey. In “Bird’s Eye,” an exploration of the chaos throughout the end of time, the guitars overdrive, creating a haunting echo, a contrasting mood to the album’s opening track. “Sometime After Midnight” questions the definition of racism in America.
Despite the density of the album’s themes, hope springs eternal in songs like the playful “The Dank-ish,” along with the album’s titular track, “A Way Back In,” a celebration of the long, journeyed history and friendship of Moore and Fritz. “Human Kindness” closes Away Back In with an unlikely marriage of folk-style guitar and hip-hop, providing the listener with a stunning optimistic look on human nature.