ÌFÉ’s Album ‘0000+0000’ Draws on Afro-Caribbean Sounds and Religion

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“In 0000+0000 the sun has set in the visible world. The night
and the ‘magical’ world has come to life.”

— ÌFÉ

In 2020, Otura Mun, the man behind the project ÌFÉ, relocated from Puerto Rico to New Orleans in part for music, for some inspiration, for some collaborative creativity and in search of musical peers. Before making the move, ÌFÉ had nearly finalized a recording which has now flourished in the Big Easy as 0000+0000 (pronounced Yay-koon May-yee), a powerful sophomore release.

0000+0000 seems to encompass, in part, the complexity of dually lived experiences both in the rich cultural energies pulsing through New Orleans, and in its inception in Puerto Rico. When thinking about the move, ÌFÉ says they were hopeful there might be a religious connection. Otura Mun is a babalawo, a priest in the Yoruba religious practice, Ifá. Some of his songs, some chants, are based on meditations about certain orishas.

Otura Mun, the New Orleans-based producer and percussionist behind the electronic music project ÌFÉ

On 0000+0000, ÌFÉ is intentional and provocative, using this platform to elevate conversations others seem to avoid. Although not an activist, the messages are direct and compassionate, sharing thoughts about the police, incarceration, men being in control, and the need to destroy the myth of America.

The music, the sounds on 0000+0000, sync you into signature ÌFÉ vibrations—Afro-Caribbean rhythms and Ifá and electronic beats. This is where ÌFÉ explores connections of the African diaspora in the Western world.

Otura Mun has been on a creative high ever since 0000+0000 dropped, and in a recent conversation he tells us all about it and shares his thoughts on what he would like to see happen in the U.S.

“I would say that the move to New Orleans is primarily a political move,” he explains. “There’s two facets to it. One, I felt that I needed to come back to Black America. I’m an African American, I’ve been living in Latin America for the last 21 years, and … I’m heavily invested in the idea that the American myth has to be destroyed. And I’m all there for that, you know, and all the things I would like to see happen in the U.S., like, let’s say a new constitution, reparations for African Americans and Native Americans, the destruction of a patriarchal system in all shapes and forms.

“For me, I believe Joe Biden should have stepped down when he was elected and handed it over to Kamala Harris and basically said ‘I can’t do this because white men shouldn’t be running this ship, women should be running it, for at least the next 250 years. No white man, in fact no man at all running anything, and I’m stepping down. Kamala Harris, it’s a moment for Black and brown women and let’s get it started.’

“The problem is that people like him and Pete Buttigieg and others feel that they deserve to be leading things even though they’re the wrong people for that. And so, that kind of sentiment, for example when I see a shirt that says, like, you know, ‘Men shouldn’t be making decisions or laws about women’s bodies,’ well, I agree with that. Who wouldn’t, you know? But, I would say, men shouldn’t be making laws at all.

“So it’s rare that the conversation moves to a level that I want to see. I’m not interested in taking down Confederate statues; I’m interested in taking down the big white penis in Washington, D.C.”

The cover art for ÌFÉ’s album, ‘0000+0000’

Well, now.

This is what great conversations are all about. ÌFÉ shares this and so much more.

Listen to a preview of  0000+0000 and our full conversation, as originally broadcast on Future Rootz via Lumpen Radio, 105.5FM on Mixcloud.

Sandra Treviño is a music journalist, DJ and radio host living in Chicago. Listen to her on the radio Friday afternoons on 91.1FM Vocalo and every second and fourth Monday at 6 PM CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio. she is also one half of the female selecta duo The Ponderers. #futurerootz #theponderers #djangelfuk

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