Tag Archives: Grey Wulf

Grey Wulf’s Harsh Noise Ventures Through The Dark In Search of Light

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I met Abdul Hakim-Bilal, aka Grey Wulf, in territory familiar to both of us: a crusty, Angela Davis-poster-splattered, anarchist community center in the middle of West Philadelphia. His band was setting up while I was DJ’ing; as they plugged in, the sound of a dirgey guitar ripped through the soundboard. I looked over and a wiry, tall guy with dreads and an army coat was fiddling with knobs, ready to wreck. “This should be good,” I thought, and I wasn’t disappointed. Hakim-Bilal’s band Among the Rocks and Roots proceeded to smash through a set of chaotic, thundering noise, part wooly Viking incantation, part Afro-Indigenous ritual, that left the space even more damaged than it was before they took the stage.

It’s Grey Wulf, Hakim-Bilal’s solo project, though, that seems particularly relevant now, in these politically unprecedented times—as Grey Wulf, he speaks to even darker, weirder edges of music and culture, conjuring fringe dreamscape-cum-apocalyptic death marches. Take the song “Fated Grips Around the Neck of Destiny,” where Hakim-Bilal wraps the listener in a cocoon of impossibly beautiful sounds, only to reveal a more sordid, darker core beneath. Grey Wulf walked those edges of beauty, danger, and reality with us in a conversation about place, carving out space, and finding a light in the dark.

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