Brooklyn native and resident hardcore-soul queen, Tamar-kali,
wields her pen and guitar with equal ferocity. Her hard-rocking brand
of outsider art leaps from every track on her 2005 solo EP, Geechee Goddess Hardcore Warrior Soul,
enchanting you with its melody, while delivering a swift kick to the
gut with its incisive emotional core. Her first full-length release, Black Bottom,
packs an even harder punch as audiences are invited to gaze deeper into
the recesses of this urban warrior's mind. Her tales of revolution and
love may seem contradictory, but the two worlds are inextricably linked
by this powerful artist who grasps for the truth in both ideals.
Tamar-kali travels a lonely road of independence that finds many artists of her caliber overworked and underappreciated. Her album title is no mere piece of alliteration, but a reflection of where she found herself after a particularly disheartening period. "I was in the 'Bottom.' I felt like a shark with no teeth." But after some soul-searching, she came to a pivotal realization, "I don't have to fight for a right to exist - I do exist." From there, the piercing Black Bottom sprang forth and each track drips with the frustration, passion and conviction of an artist on a mission. Her longevity proves that she has what it takes to appeal to hipsters, punks, hip-hop heads and soul/jazz aficionados without compromising her individuality to kowtow to anyone's expectations.
The uninitiated may have discovered Tamar-kali when she appeared in James Spooner's award-winning Afro-Punk documentary, with clips of her incendiary performances putting the world on notice to her unsung talent.
Others saw her dynamic energy support artists like Fishbone and OutKast on the group's acclaimed sophomore album, ATLiens. A whole new audience will feel her full force when Black Bottom her first full length release hits the streets this summer.
The cathartic, orgasmic emotion Tamar-kali brings with every song leaves her peerless above or underground. One thing to remember with Tamar-kali's sound is, as with any good piece of drama, there's a twist. Nothing is exactly as it appears and by the time you discover the trickery, you're uncontrollably writhing your hips and pumping your fists in the air. As she says in the pulsating "Warrior Bones," "These warrior bones ache for revolution/but the people ain't ready." How can anyone be ready for the aural assault Tamar-kali brings? For warriors and lovers alike, the thrill of the unexpected makes her music all the more necessary.