Fresh from the intergalactic mystery of The Comet Is Coming’s second album, Unity finally allows you to catch your breath and appreciate the brilliance of this other-worldly jazz.
Futurism within music, jazz especially, is nothing new. There are numerous works of other-worldly exploration that include industrial sounds, mechanical reproductions and synchronised compositions, dating back to the Dadaists. This however is space jazz; afro punk; dub; psychedelia; riot jazz even. The Comet Is Coming, unstoppable in its cosmic expression – which combines blistering synth lines, expressive woodwind and energised percussion – pressing outwards at the boundaries of the universe, raising creative perception whilst simultaneously questioning what we’re really doing down here on Earth. For 45 minutes, escape from reality and be led by this band’s guiding light: Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery. The second studio album from the London trio.
Unity offers a moment of respite, resetting the balance after the sonic onslaught of earlier tracks such as Birth of Creation – which includes impressive circular breathing from bass clarinet powerhouse Shabaka Hutchings as he coaxes gut-wrenchingly deep bass from the mammoth instrument. Here, the sub-notes fizz from the synth section amongst warbles and squirls of electronics, offset by organic percussion. A simple saxophone melody carries through the piece, accentuated by warm synthesised brass, as the album relaxes into it’s introspective finale. The palette of sounds on this record paint such a rich tapestry, it’s a wonder that they emanate from just three musicians.
The Comet Is Coming is the collective work of Danalogue, Betamax and King Shabaka, respectively taking on the duties of Synths, Percussion and Sax. It’s fair to say that the creativity behind such an album as Lifeforce effervesces from these individuals who have each had involvement in other past and present projects. Dan Leavers and Max Hallett first appeared as Soccer96, playing expertly crafted drum and synth grooves. It was during a succession of Soccer96 gigs that they met Shabaka Hutchings; the talented reed-maestro of Shabaka and the Ancestors and Sons of Kemet was himself a fan of the duo. Still, it’s hard to deny the presence of The Comet Is Coming, having been nominated for a Mercury prize for their first album and now appearing on the first wave of billed artists at Glastonbury 2019. Released while the band were playing at SXSW last week, you can listen to Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery now.