Luneta Freedom Jazz Collective – Slaves and Masters

Quite an impressive band out of the Philippines, courtesy of Mahorka Records out of Bulgaria.  Some info from their Bandcamp site:

Luneta Freedom Jazz Collective is an experimental jazz group from Manila, Philippines. Their first studio album “Ethos”, was recorded and released in April 2015. The group would go on to be featured at 2015’s To Be Continued on Stazione di Topolò/Global Health Incubator. Their second album, “Inland Empire” was released in 2017.

In 2021 their third album, “Slaves and Masters”, comes out on Mahorka, the dialectic as a narrative that examines the exploitation of labour and social stratification, with the latter seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labour and capital. Particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages and the latter as a lack of workers’ self-management, fulfilling choices and leisure in an economy.

More specifically, it is a discourse on economics as well as a social critique of consumption as a function of social class and of consumerism, derived from the stratification of people and the division of labor which are social institutions of the feudal period that have continued to this day. Evident in the current state of hacienda farmer’s in the Philippines. A Filipino farmer working at the Hacienda Najalin and Hacienda Luisita gets paid less than 4 Euros a week. Giving them a handful kilos of rice and canned goods as the subsidy to dissmiss their struggles.

This is a wonderfully free album, working not only within the confines of free jazz, but it has electroacoustic currents running throughout the album. It reminds me of projects like the British improv band AMM and their leader Keith Rowe’s solo work.

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