Through the channel of hip hop, ILUMINATIVE salutes spiritual self-care with SACRED TEMPLE

Review by Vince Leigh

Iluminative has just released the second single from his recent album Kundalini Rising, another rousing dose of forcible rap that manages to promote the virtues of spiritual self-care in a manner that seems to suggest quite the contrary.

This declarative paean to the importance of oneness utilises not the distorted sizzle of guitars as heard in Kundalini Rising, Iluminative’s previous single, but a series of dramatic string flourishes and a whole team of staccatos, marcatos and orchestral percussive stabs that jostle with Iluminative’s controlled vehemence, and a theme, verse, chorus cycle whose dynamic weight is perhaps just as persuasive as its melodic kind.

Body is a temple included in the trinity / includes the true ministry / the true you is spirit, spirit truly is infinity

So the opening announces. Who can argue about infinity? What is it? Whatever it is, it is true, as is asserted here. And Iluminative’s recurrent method of communicating this idea of oneness, his impassioned voice resolute against the converging layers of instrumentation, the strings, the machine beats, claps etc., reflects the concordant nature of such a concept.

Sacred Temple’s condensed intensity – of sound, of performance, of heady, philosophical denotations – merges with the act of listening. Is listening what reading is to the act of writing? Perhaps. Can we digest all of what Iluminative is disseminating?

His track is, of course, a life-affirming reflexive action, a personal one. No doubt experience has filtered through to the act of creation; he has survived to tell his tale. One can sense this act of survival, the urgency recapitulated in the pulse, the door slam tonalities of the beat, in the portentous strains of the string section and the unrelenting push of the vocal. You might want to imagine what Iluminative is offering is an accurate indictment on severing your connection with the triumvirate of mind, body, spirit, that is, nature, in whatever form of separation that takes.

But how would you know?

Iluminative here has erred on the side of caution, perhaps a result of dismissing such caution in the first place, who can know that. But in whatever way you imbibe Sacred Temple, it is above all else, a generally satisfying few minutes of musical expression that whisks you along on its fiery coat tails. 

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