The Heliocentrics draw on a combination of James Brown, Sun Ra, Ennio Morricone,David Axelrod, Pierre Henry and Can to make their powerful and epic, expansive, psychedelic funk. Their latest album Infinity of Now is released on Madlib Invazion, the label owned by one-of-a-kind hip-hop producer Madlib.
Vinyl LP £24.92 MMS037LP
LP on Madlib Invazion.
CD £11.99 MMS037CD
CD on Madlib Invazion.
‘Infinity of Now’ finds the Heliocentrics very much in the pocket. This is the veteran psych-fusion collective’s tenth studio album and they know the score by now. Early Ninja Tune jazz-funk breaks, eerie re-renderings of mid-century film music derived from Portishead, DJ Shadow’s crate-digging plunderphonics sensibility, job’s a good’un.
Unfortunately, you get the sense that the band were sitting a little too comfortably when they came up with this one. The playing is proficient, sure, but there's not much in the way of cut and thrust. Some of the tunes include sections of build which intimate that something big is about to happen, but these never quite push on to something more vital.
The album comes to life when the Heliocentrics leave autopilot. Fifth track ‘Hanging By A Thread’ gives the LP a long-overdue injection of verve by throwing some Fela Kuti and Tony Allen into the mix. This track is followed by ‘Nonsense Part 1’ and ‘Light In The Dark’, both of which cross-pollinate a kind of ersatz Pierre Boulez style with beatnik library jazz. It is at these points, when they channel David Axelrod and tap into the inherent uncanniness of so much incidental music from the 60s and 70s in a manner, that the Heliocentrics hone in on the thing that you sense they’ve been trying to tell you all along.
‘Infinity Of Now’s mid-section shows that the Heliocentrics can create really cool, atmospheric music, the sort of stuff not many other groups would be capable of making.
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