|The Heliocentrics||A World Of Masks|
The Heliocentrics — A World Of Masks (May 26, 2017) ♦ο Eclectic U.K.~based ensemble blending influences such as hip~hop, jazz, soundtracks, Ethiopian funk, outré electronics, and more.
Location: London, UK
Styles: Experimental, Neo~Psychedelia, Jazz~Funk
Album release: May 26, 2017
Genre: Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
Record Label: Soundway Records
01 Made Of The Sun 4:13
02 Time 4:07
03 Human Zoo 4:50
04 A World Of Masks 7:47
05 Capital Of Alone 3:44
06 Dawn Chorus 2:17
07 The Silverback 3:32
08 Oh Brother 3:27
09 The Wake 2:29
10 Square Wave 3:45
11 The Uncertainty Principle 5:32
♦ο Malcom Catto: drums
♦ο Jake Ferguson: bass
♦ο Jack Yglesias: percussion, flute
♦ο Oliver Parfitt: keyboards
♦ο Adrian Owusu: guitar
♦ο Tom Hodges: electronics
♦ο Just B (Barbora Patkova): vocals
♦ο and many more friends ...
♦ο Eothen Alapatt Executive Producer
♦ο Mike Burnham Drums, Oud
♦ο Malcolm Catto Drums, Electronics, Engineer, Group Member, Keyboards, Mixing, Percussion, Producer
♦ο Dave Cooley Mastering
♦ο Jake Ferguson Bass, Electronics, Engineer, Group Member, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer, Vibraphone
♦ο The Heliocentrics Arranger
♦ο Tom Hodges Electronics
♦ο Corey Mwamba Vibraphone
♦ο Ade Owusu Group Member, Guitar
♦ο Ollie Parfitt Electronics, Keyboards, Piano
♦ο Errol F. Richardson Art Direction
♦ο Jack Yglesias Group Member, PercussionDescription:
♦ο The Heliocentrics are a group for which genres are meaningless and boundaries invisible. Since first appearing on DJ Shadow’s 2006 album The Outsider the group have gone on to release a string of records that float through jazz, hip~hop, psych, krautrock, and musique concrete whilst collaborating with numerous genre heavyweights from Mulatu Astake to Gaslamp Killer and picking up prestigious fans along the way, such as Madlib and the recently departed David Axelrod.
♦ο The primarily instrumental group, who operate out of their vintage analogue studio in East London called the Quatermass Sound Lab, bring in a new singer on album number four — a young Slovakian singer called Barbora Patkova. The result is an album that takes the band, already solidified in ever~expanding grooves and rhythms into new previously unexplored dimensions.The group’s deep~set ability to craft music intuitively and impulsively stems from a desire to avoid typical processes or generic structures. Since its conception, the band’s music has mainly been created from live improvisation. This musical approach gives the band its own sound and identity — “for anything to happen it must be at that time from the people in the room, and on the spot”. A decade of such sonic adventures has resulted in a tightly knit bond that the group refer to as “almost a form of telepathy” with “musical changes that otherwise would be near impossible to write.”
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek; Score: ****
♦ο After 2016’s From the Deep, an excellent summation of all their previous musical directions, the Heliocentrics go — as the banner on Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters bus proclaimed — “Further.” While the Malcolm Catto~led outfit has been digging through many varieties of jazz, psych~funk, hip~hop, library grooves, and international sounds (having worked with Mulatu Astatke and Lloyd Miller) for over a decade, A World of Masks presents an intergalactic take on many of the above.
♦ο Added to the band’s personnel on this date is Slovakian vocalist Barbora Patkova, who has been working with the outfit live since 2013. Like her fellow Heliocentrics, she is an explorer. While June Tyson is a reference point, Patkova is so versatile that other comparisons are equally apt: Urzula Dudziak, Julie Tippetts, Jeanne Lee, and Patty Waters also come to mind. Check Patkova’s work on “Time.” She seems to emerge like another instrument from a gradually increasing collective drone anchored only by Catto’s drumkit. Backmasking effects, layers of santur, percussion, flutes, violin, and synths wash around the foreground, but she hovers above it all. She actually drives the band’s drone psych~jazz in the title track, as flutes and tenor sax, rumbling tom~toms, santur, and a modal bassline inch toward the cliff before a squalling guitar takes them over the edge. On first single “Oh Brother,” rolling snare breaks, wah~wah guitars, and a funky bassline provide the fuel for Patkova to deliver a spiritual soul message, her alto alternately floating above in a coo and pushing into the band’s crackle with gritty emphasis. There are fine instrumentals here, too, including “Human Zoo,” which commences like a Can jam before bringing out the horns and heading toward dirgey Afrobeat. “Dawn Chorus” is trancey drum funk appended by a spiritual Michael White~esque violin and a muddy bassline. Rock makes an appearance in the trancey psych of “The Wake,” but Patkova adds her spiritual jazz phrasing as a counterbalance. Closer “The Uncertainty Principle” unfolds like a Krautrock jam with keyboards pulsing, spacy guitars, criss~crossing channels, snares, and bassline in a call and response vamp; a hypnotic saxophone line becomes the lone centerpiece to carry it out. A World of Masks is steamy, nocturnal, and economical. Most tunes are between three and five minutes, so there’s never time to tire of any idea. This set is drenched in mystery; each track unfolds and transitions seamlessly as it builds and expands, enveloping the listener. ♦ο http://www.allmusic.com/
ο♦ The Heliocentrics are a UK~based collective centered around drummer Malcolm Catto and bassist Jake Ferguson, both of whom produce and record the band’s singular music. Their debut album, Out There (2007) was a confounding piece of work. It drew from the funk universe of James Brown, the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra’s music, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone and the sublime fusion of David Axelrod. It pointed the way towards a brand new kind of psychedelia, the kind that could only come from many years of musical evolution, from never conforming long enough to any particular musical genre, from the melting pot of musique concrete, post punk, Krautrock and, of course, those other genres already mentioned.
ο♦ The follow up to Out There, 13 Degrees of Reality (2013), found the Heliocentrics returning to develop their epic vision of psychedelic funk, while exploring the possibilities created by their Latin and African influences, among others. Their third Now~Again album The Last Transmission (2014) paired them with maverick filmmaker, musician, songwriter, vocalist and activist Melvin Van Peebles, in something resembling an intergalactic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
ο♦ The bands collective drive is to find an individual voice, and they search for it in an alternate galaxy where the orbits of funk, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, avant~garde and “ethnic” music all revolve around “The One.” While Catto and Ferguson are the two only constants in the ensemble, Nigerian guitarist Ade Owusu is the irregular but important third. They are equal parts musicians and music fans and they have been playing together for over a decade: the Heliocentrics have realized that their strongest statements are made somewhere amongst the persistent fuzz of Owusu’s distorted guitar, Catto’s impossible syncopation and Ferguson’s loping bass lines.
ο♦ They have earned lifetime fans in the likes of Madlib (with whom Catto has collaborated on numerous Yesterdays New Quintet projects), The Gaslamp Killer, DJ Shadow (both as a touring ensemble and in the studio), Quantic and Ethiopian jazz giant Mulatu Astatke, with whom the Heliocentrics recorded and released Inspiration Information 3, the fourth classic Mulatu album — released nearly forty years after his other three.
By NICK MEE ~ JUNE 6, 2017
|The Heliocentrics||A World Of Masks|