Totem Taboo’s work is very close to music. Not only for being strongly influenced by musical references and its aesthetics but for loving recreating creators’s universes on stage, embracing fashion and sceneography, bringing their creation to a visual concept which is inseparable of any good performance art in this trascendent and cathartic live art birth realm to provide an entire world to cross through. I feel drown to artists that have reached to express their soul in this whole conceptuality which marries all artistic languages possible around their music in a way we can only get inspired from. Though it’s true Totem Taboo musical DNA is embedded in all kinds of Black music as a big multibranched tree as I already paid tribute with Funktopia Collection,  it is also true in regards to this whole artistic conceptuality Totem Taboo really drinks from Spiritual Jazz, as a like – minded energy blending spirituality and multicultural awareness through other language of expression, the one of sound, and since the only thing that matched the cosmic intensity of the Jazz being made in the 60’s and 70’s were the aesthetics in form of graphics and fashion that came with.

Spiritual Jazz is a style of Avant-Garde Jazz music which emerged in the 1960s. It is closely associated with the musical and spiritual philosophy developed by John Coltrane in the mid-1960s (manifested as early as his seminal A Love Supreme album) which was passed on to his collaborators Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders.

Stylistically, Spiritual Jazz is marked by a mixture of Jazz with approximations of ethnic music styles (often a blend of styles evocative of African, Indian, and East Asian musical traditions), religious music of non-Christian traditions, and the ecstatic, transcendental aspects of Free Jazz. This radical style was closely linked to various African-American political and spiritual movements, such as the Nation of Islam and Afro-Centrism, the introduction of Zen philosophy and yoga in America, a resurgence of Egyptology, as well as the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.

This deep spiritual path transitioning multicultural and political ideas, experiences and insights translated into art, sending whole vibes of a conscious enriched universe, not being an exclusive favourite style in the above mentioned tree at all, it does feel somehow like a strong part of the tree’s root and it does resonate as what it is definitely Totem Taboo’s essence and purpose soundtrack. I hope you leave uplifted drinking from that legacy too.

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by Cristina Morales

Cristina Morales is a London-based Spanish born Cultural Activist. With a BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Barcelona and a MA in Cultural Production from the Open University of Catalonia, she has become an artist, writer and cultural producer / curator linking art with politics. Keen on bridging art and society, she works for freelance projects and organisations using arts & culture as a tool to address topics such as identity, civil rights and community development. Examples of such projects and organisations include HostelArt, Ribermusica and Interarts in Barcelona or Black Cultural Archives, Peckham Platform, Mahogany Carnival Arts and Haringey Arts in London to mention a few. In addition to being the founding artist of the political fashion brand Totem Taboo, she also writes punctually for specialist media such as Voces, Wiriko and Radio Africa on contemporary African arts & culture, counter-culture and human development through art.