SHAME “White Man” (Orb Tapes)


Shame is Abdul-Hakim Bilal, and I’ve had my eye on their band and their work before. (In fact, Samuel Goff, Bilal’s Among the Rocks and Roots cohort, is putting this out on CD [of all formats!] on his Cacophonous Recordings label.) White Man is an uncomfortable release, especially for someone like me who represents the titular demographic. Bilal is black, and “the struggle black people face daily is present in this harrowing and experimental album.” Bilal utilizes vocals to great effect to supplement the noise churning like a distant storm or like the crackle of enflamed dry wood. Anger and fear permeate the release with a harrowing intensity. I succumb to the tape’s intent of discomfort. It makes me squirm, and it makes me hurt. I can only let it crush me with its weight. Who gets to impose their will on others; who is worthy of that? Nobody. White Man is a seething answer.