Tongo Eisen-Martin - I Go To The Railroad Tracks And Follow Them To The Station Of My Enemies LP


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Label: Rocks In Your Head

"I came across Tongo saying something in passing in an interview with Mayor London Breed. It was so insightful, poetic and deeply felt I wanted to know who he was. I devoured the poetry books that were available and then set out to invite him to make a recording. I had no idea what the session would be like. We were strangers. He showed up, there was no small talk, and he went to the microphone. He then created a 22 minute poem, no notes in his hands, and I looked at the engineer, and our minds were blown. It was flawless, and it was meaningful, and it was channeled from some other place. I said, do you have anything else to say? And he began another piece that lasted another 22 minutes or so. And it was all so flawless,and incredible. And so I looked at the engineer and I said, 'I think we have a record.' Now I've never seen a record cut in one sitting, I figured it was reserved for geniuses like Thelonious Monk or Robert Johnson or something. And so I realized Tongo is a genius too. The poetry is so loud and crisp and clear and fueled with energy. It has a connection back to Gil Scott Heron, The Last Poets, Langston Hughes but it is also not derivative in the least, but new and of it's own time." — Sonny Smith

"Tongo's words are bricks-with which he builds houses, breaks windows, and - strangely- entices you to take a bath in. I first heard his poetry and got scared of dying. Like - I better figure shit out because this is the new shit and he's on something I'm not. He's noticing shit that I better notice if I want to experience life in color. He knows that to live - you gotta make shit around you move. You can't just watch. I'm thrilled that this album is coming out so y'all can be scared of not living too." — Boots Riley

"Words are a kind of architecture – where the bricks exist on page or spoken into the either. A form is built and becomes a body that will not soon wilt... the spoken word is timeless and immortal. Here in this collection Tongo kicks the new jazz – a classic sense of form ad style that is dare I say it smolderingly masculine, drumming, with someone who clearly has an old ear for dialogue. This coolection read icadest and with a heavy hand in the past not withstanding, still boasts verbage that is very very fresh. Bravo." — Brontez Purnell