Taking place in his own “party store” – an ode to Michigan’s corner shops, as well as the Detroit neighbourhood HQ his family owned.

Omar-S has launched a new virtual and physical exhibition, called Omar S: Conant Gardens Party Store, opening this October.

Operating as both a physical show as well as an interactive website, Conant Gardens Party Store explores the influences that have shaped Omar-S and his music, bringing together arcade games – including ones he has modified with custom sound effects, films, records, Detroit music memorabilia, and related paraphernalia.

In doing so, the exhibit “offers an unprecedented look into the universe of an artist who seldom discusses historical influences, and has often presented his work as strictly in the present.”

Alongside Conant Gardens Party Store, Omar-S is also putting out a new mobile video game called Record Packer, which he’s scored himself.

Omar S: Conant Gardens Party Store will run online, and at Red Bull Arts Detroit from Thursday 29th October through Sunday 20th December 2020, with several online and in-store events scheduled to take place alongside the exhibition.

Head here for more info.

  • Omar S

Ugne & Maria in residency - nov 2020 - at les ateliers claus  

  • ugne & maria

“Swirling,” the group’s first album of new recordings in 20 years, is an affirmation of how vital the band remains under the direction of the saxophonist Marshall Allen, 96.

PHILADELPHIA — In the early 2000s, the pianist Farid Barronread that his idol John Coltrane had once received a papyrus from Sun Ra that was said to stop time.

“That’s why I came over here, to look for the manuscript,” Mr. Barron, 49, said on a recent Saturday afternoon, standing on the steps outside the Arkestral Institute of Sun Ra, where he now lives. An unassuming stone rowhouse in this city’s Germantown neighborhood, it is where Ra — a pianist, composer, poet and mystic whose influence on culture has only seemed to grow since his death in 1993 — held court for the last quarter-century of his life. Members of his ensemble, the Sun Ra Arkestra, continue to live and rehearse there, surrounded by his artifacts and aura.

So did Mr. Barron ever find the papyrus? Not exactly, he said, but “in a roundabout way, I found an answer to stopping time.”

It happened on his first gig with the Arkestra, in 2006. With the band careening into a hailstorm of free improvisation, he felt lost. “I thought it was cacophony,” he said. So he decided to attempt some of the difficult piano runs he’d been struggling with. “In that moment, all the stuff I had been working on by Art Tatum that I couldn’t execute, now I could,” Mr. Barron said. “In that sort of environment, where there’s no strict time and the energy is just flowing — that’s when I started to understand.”

As a robed, serene-faced Sun Ra says of his band in the 1974 film “Space Is the Place,” “We work on the other side of time.”

That perspective-slanting, potential-opening energy is best experienced live, of course, and without the pandemic, this weekend would probably have offered an ideal opportunity: The Arkestra, whose members always perform in shimmering regalia, has a long history of Halloween concerts. The next-best option is picking up “Swirling,” the group’s first album of new recordings in 20 years, due on Friday.




  • Marshall Allen
  • preview of the João Lobo - Simorgh LP