Heliocentrics & Mulatu Astatke Inspiration Information
- Words: Brandon Ivers
- Label: Strut
- XLR8R Rating: 8/10
Teaming up with vibraphone legend Mulatu Astatke, this is only the second album from The Heliocentrics since their fantastic 2007 debut Out There. The snake-charmed nuances of Astatke’s native Ethiopian music take a welcome melodic lead on this record, but Malcolm Catto’s beastly drumming still clearly provides the foundation—the “Soul Pride” beat homage “Addis Black Widow” cracks snares that sound recorded in a 50-mile-deep bomb shelter. Yet there’s more than cavernous tension here, as the opening guitar lick of “Blue Nile” is as sublime as The Heliocentrics have ever been. The approach can seem reverential at times, but it’s hard to think of anyone else still finding worthy gaps to explore between hard funk and jazz.
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