Black Juche

king dom cummies, Black Juche, 2020. Hosted on Bandcamp.

Album art depicting Donald Trump, A$AP Rocky, and Dennis Rodman in a DPRK landscape, with Kim Il-sung looking over a mountain.

Introduced by Jesi Gaston

Toward the end of Black Juche, king dom cummies lets slip the only hook to be found across the project. “The revolution will not be / will not be / will not be / will not be,” sounds out incessantly, punctuated each time by controlled bursts of electronic noise. It’s a striking moment, the first where the listener is allowed to chew on a straightforward sentiment. And we’re forced to reckon with this, Gil Scott-Heron’s voice perverted against itself without reverence and caked over with layer after layer of digital processing. If there exists a cornerstone for this album it’s here, in this cheeky fatalism that wants you wondering where the bit ends and the despair begins.

Don’t fall for the game. There is no single cornerstone for this album. There’s no particular message cummies is aching to convey so much as sticky and contradictory experience. Note the project opener, “positionality statement,” over-stuffed and reeling from the first line on, by its end seeming far away from its stated aim. It’s not that the title’s a joke so much as it is knowingly insufficient. Where you expect a coherent perspective and story, cummies instead gives you the first of several substances that trouble the barrier between interior and exterior.. That they wind up, in trying to state their own “positionality,” giving us a vision of gooey tombs and horsemen, is a good indication for what’s to come.

But you don’t need another paragraph trying to break down the specific methods at play in one or another of the songs on display. Try as I might, I’m fairly certain I’d bungle the overall picture anyway. Listening to Black Juche is a singular experience wholly of our times. It is, among other things, an explainer for what being the black non-subject means as our supposed eschaton approaches. I’m avoiding the obvious bit here about being “blackpilled,” but it warrants saying that there is nothing more desolate, no one more capable of giving the world a picture of its fucked self, than a figure like the one on display here. Of course it’s raw; of course it doesn’t care if you can’t read it. It doesn’t make a difference, does it? Just listen.

PT BELL is a Chicago composer and performer, a member of Blacker Face, J’eraf, and Bussy Kween Power Trip. King dom cummies is pt Bell’s final thoughtform. The past decade’s unstable manifestations include One Bell, SUD, Young Qoheleth, and Service Top. This newest entity is stable, coherent, completely embodied. This new Chicago rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist appears courtesy of Chicago/New York City/Tokyo anti-music improv unit Mixed-Race Ethnostate, an ensemble as renowned as it is obscure.

JESI GASTON is an editor at HOMINTERN and incidentally also a member of Mixed-Race Ethnostate.