As the year draws to a close, we picked our favourite Albums of 2023.
Yesterday saw the release of LEGNA, the collaborative album from two stellar acts, London based psychedelic funk jazz collective The Heliocentrics and LA based DJ / producer William Bensussen aka The Gaslamp Killer.
In the works for many years, LEGNA “showcases the Heliocentrics’ ability to effortlessly blend genres”, as the press release describes, “while GLK’s ear for rare and eclectic sounds further cements his status as one of the most innovative producers around.”
The album is out now through Cuss Records as a limited edition 12″ LP and for a taste of what’s on offer, check out the cosmic and infectious ‘Punks’.
We're huge fans of London based collective The Heliocentrics, whose groovy and cosmic tunes move through genres as diverse as jazz, funk, hip-hop and psychedelia. And we're stoked to have the band's mastermind and mightily relentless drummer Malcolm Catto put together this month's mixtape. Catto, who has played, produced and recorded with more celebrated artists than we could possibly list here, is one of the most versatile and funkiest drummers out there. So get into his headspace with this utterly rad mix of tunes!
All hail the return of The Heliocentrics, the London based psychedelic funk jazz collective, who are set to drop a new release next week. Following their 2013 album 13 Degrees of Reality, which was one of our Album Picks of the Year, The Heliocentrics released The Last Transmission in 2014, a heavenly collaboration with Melvin Van Peebles. Now they are ready to release Quatermass Sessions: From The Deep, an effort that sees the band “finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs – Quatermass Studios with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals”, as the press release describes. Quatermass Sessions: From The Deep arrives on February 19th via Now-Again.
Along with the release announcement, The Heliocentrics are teasing us with the first taste from record, the groovy, cosmic and entrancing ‘Night And Day’. We’re listening to it on repeat just as you should be.
Exciting news from The Heliocentrics keep on hitting us. First, and as we recently reported, the London based psychedelic funk jazz collective are set to release a collaborative album with Nigerian saxophone legend Orlando Julius next month. Now, news have emerged of another heavenly collaboration and one that has been in the works for the last six years, with eccentric and prolific filmmaker, playwright and musician Melvin Van Peebles. Their joint effort, The Last Transmission, is being released as a double album on October 7th via Now-Again.
According to the label, the forthcoming album “is an interplanetary space/love odyssey told in twelve chapters”. Whilst disc one is presented as a vocal album, the second one serves a bonus disc featuring expanded instrumentals of some selected tracks. “The band considers it their defining work, the result of more than a decade of playing and recording together”, as the album’s blurb describes. “They’ve found a voice as a band, one that meshes with Van Peebles,’ as he weaves an intergalactic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.””
An instrumental version of ‘Chapter 05 The Cavern’ taken from the bonus disc is the first taste to be let loose and is being ofered as a free download. If this is any inclination of what’s to come, we just can’t wait to hear more.
The Heliocentrics‘ outstanding 13 Degrees of Reality was one of our Album Picks of 2013. So we couldn’t be more excited to know that the London based psychedelic funk jazz collective have been busy working on a collaborative album with Nigerian saxophone legend Orlando Julius. Jaiyede Afro, recorded at The Heliocentrics’ fully analogue studio in London, arrives on September 8th via Strut.
According to the label, “on Jaiyede Afro, Julius takes us back to his roots, revisiting several compositions from his early years which have never previously been recorded”, whilst “the band takes Orlando’s sound into new, progressive directions, retaining the raw grit of his early work and adding psychedelic touches and adventurous new arrangements”.
To get us excited for this release, they’ve shared the first taste off Jaiyede Afro, ‘Buje Buje’. Here’s what Orlando Julius said about the track:
“My parents used to tell us stories, folk tales and there were a lot of different stories involving tortoises – they often made tortoises sound like human beings. There was one about a tortoise who had a farm and I always thought, ‘how could a tortoise have a farm?!’ This tortoise is working on his farm and a pretty lady is passing by. So, he cuts his foot with his cutlass and pretends that he is injured so that he can get her attention. The lady comes over and tries to help him and he says, ‘I can’t work with this cut. Could I climb on your back to go to get help?’ She agrees, he climbs on her back and she starts to walk. He says, ‘I’m too far up, could you push me further down your back?’ Finally, the lady realises that he is up to no good, she is very unhappy and tells him to find his own way. Once she has left, the tortoise continues to play this trick on other women.
I made the story into a song and brought human nature into it — good people and bad people. The song teaches us not to copy something that is bad, fake or deceptive.”
Take a listen to ”Buje Buje’ now.