Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins have been making their spaced-out, meditative brand of astral soul so steadily — individually, together, in guest spots and as compilation curators — that they’re worth recognizing as important fixtures in the current Los Angeles beat scene. Like Erykah Badu with the cadence and resonance of Alice Coltrane’s harp, Muldrow’s got a voice that you can soak in — at which point it starts soaking in to you — and Perkins raps like a chilled-out, off-kilter West Coast version of Redman, connecting the dots between the screaming heads on the covers of Dare Iz a Darkside and Maggot Brain. Layer them over a sound that seems calibrated for rollerskate jams in the shadow of the pyramids, and it’s manna for abstract hip-hop heads and R&B fiends alike.
The Lighthouse, the latest in a fruitful series of collaborations by Muldrow and Perkins, maintains their futurist-vintage outlook on music and philosophy and the places where they intersect. With a title track that pairs righteous-anger calls-to-arms with a breathless, almost blissed-out excitement, The Lighthouse kills its own stress in real time. While the messaging is pretty straightforward — “Power” is your archetypal inner-strength-through-love anthem; “No More War” is self-explanatory — that directness is meant to give an evocative, empathetic clarity, not serve as a crutch propping up a lack of ideas. Even the simplest material has an up-front, get-down musicality that gives a next-level jolt of stargazing eccentricity to boogie funk and skyscraper soul.