Oh ya… Oh fuck ya … that’s the shit buckets of rumbling wind bass while you hard-line psychedelic jazz into that fresh and newfangled alien sex organ coming out of your hip. This album gives a sweet release that you didn’t know you desperately needed.
Some albums burst onto the scene like a crashing Kool-Aid Man in order to prove that they’re worth a damn. They’re composed of explosive shots next to crashing cymbals and people blowing brass so hard they’re popping blood vessels out their dick. This album doesn’t do that. It doesn’t have to. This shit crawls into your dome, invades the scene, and slowly takes over. Before you realize, the room is grooving deep into these psychedelic jazz tunes. Hips don’t sway to this shit, they knead the air like they’re flattening dough. You can picture the coolest motherfuckers cruising the milky way with their windows down to the rumbling bass clarinet line on “Birth of Creation”. And it’s not often you can say that about the fucking clarinet.
This isn’t the first time at cosmic bat for this trio. When drummer Maxwell Hallett (Betamax), keyboardist Dan Leavers (Danalogue), and saxophonist/clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings (King Shabaka) come together they form this groovy sci-fi jazz trio nominated for the Mercury Prize back in ’16. Now, with a chord tethered to the ’70s prog-rock scene, these three blast the fuck off into the sonic jazz futures that wouldn’t have made a lick of sense just a few years ago. But now? Move the fuck over. These are the grooves motherfuckers gonna be talking about.
If you’re a fan of this happily-vulgarized page, it’s no surprise to see that I’m writing about these guys. Shabaka has either starred or been featured on albums here a hand-load of times (A Day in the Life, Universal Beings, Your Queen is a Reptile, Displaced Diaspora, Theon Cross, and probably more I can’t remember) and there’s a reason for that: it’s insanely fucking good. If you aren’t keeping an ear out for these kinds of motherfuckers, I don’t know what you’re listening to. They’ve even got Kate Tempest throwing down spoken word with phrases like, “There’s nothing but progress to eat.” Obviously, this is where it’s at.
This album has no interest in recreating some beloved jazz of days past. It has carved out its own way with spit, grit, and talent by being more innovative, looking past all those haters, and focusing on making beautiful fucking music. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of influences here (King Crimson for one). But, unlike so much other jazz, these motherfuckers aren’t living in the past. This shit isn’t ironic. This isn’t like that synth-loving rebranded hipster ’80s pop. This band live and love this music. This is who they are. And they’re creating this music for right fucking here and right fucking now. If you miss out on this album, you’ll be missing the music of our age. Because jazz is no longer the swearword it used to be. And genres like psychedelic sci-fi aren’t for those nerds that lose their lunch money. It’s a brand new world out there. Dope ass musical kings now study the circle of fifths and get more technically trained than software developers. The reasons these dudes don’t need to burst into the scene is because they are the scene. They’re just waiting for everyone to show up.