In present human society, it can be hard to truly grasp what being civilized really means — how does one measure human civilization? When do we know whether or not we’ve surpassed a phase of raw, abstract feeling into developed, civilized thought?

These are the questions KNXVES explores in his experimental single, “Civilized Pt. 1.”

KNXVES’ sound is bare — minimalistic even — filled with fuzzy distortion and stark, disjointed melodies. He describes his own work as “lo-fi” and “post-soul,” a development of traditional African-American soul that moves beyond soul’s mainstream commercialized of Black identity.

The artist, who first got his bearings as the lead singer of punk band, The Ten Thousand, incorporates light punk influences — distortion and extreme vocals, for instance — in his current electronic work. For KNXVES, “Civilized Pt. 1” is an exploration of Black identity in white spaces, as well as a deconstruction of the implications of systematic social oppression. The video premiered on Afropunk in late March.

Check out the single below.

Article by Eda Yu

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