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In 2019, Sault made an impressive entrance with two albums, enigmatically titled 5 and 7, each delivering dance floor catharsis. Untitled (Black Is) feles like a natural progression, and a leap forward. It’s a serious-minded, soul-searching affair that issues a call to action with spirit-lifting songs attuned to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Untitled is a seductive listen. Released on Juneteenth with a message from the band that it intends “to mark a moment where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives,” its 20 undulating tracks often recall Black British dance collective Soul II Soul.
Drawing on on dub, gospel, reggae, and funk, the album raises a fist against oppression and celebrates collective strength. In “Black,” a male voice repeats the words “Black / I’m Black,” as a P-Funkish keyboard swirls and a woman sings out in support and solidarity: “Don’t you dare lose yourself, beautiful.”
Near the halfway point of Untitled (Black Is), the third album by the mystery British soul-funk collective Sault, there’s a interstitial piece called “This Generation.”
The words are voiced by Laurette Josiah, who along with producer Inflo and singer Michael Kiwanuka, is the only contributor credited by name by Sault, who have done a remarkable job of keeping their identities secret in a time of online sleuthing.
“It’s time to wake up,” Josiah says, as a skittering beat fades into the background. “We have walked the walk many years ... we have expressed our voices. People have died ... Nobody listened, nobody cared .... This generation cares.”
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NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
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