|Four years in the making, The Heliocentrics' debut album is finally complete. Out There is here.
Good luck trying to categorize their music. Led by the relentless drummer Malcolm Catto, the UK collective's objective lays quite a ways beyond what ordinary listeners know or expect. In an alternative galaxy, where the orbits of Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz, Psychedelic, Electronic, Avante-Garde and Ethnic music all revolve around “The One” – that's where you might find The Heliocentrics.
A listen to a song or two reveals no small influence from the funk universe of James Brown. But there's also the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra's music. The cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone. The sublime fusion of David Axelrod. But the Heliocentrics' music isn't retro. It's brand new. And it's timeless. They have well-placed fans in the likes of Madlib (Catto was featured on his Shades of Blue album and on various Yesterdays New Quintet releases) and DJ Shadow (the band backed him on various tours, and on the song “This Time I’m Gonna Do It My Way” from his The Outsider album), who will tell you that this band is really the next shit but that they have the consistency and musicianship that seems to have been lost somewhere in the analog to digital shuffle over the past thirty years.
The Heliocentrics are the real deal. They are “Out There” in the best possible sense of the word. Dig it.
Malcolm Catto – drums & piano
Jake Ferguson – bass & Thai guitar
Mike Burnham – modular synth & effects
Jack Yglesias – flutes, percussion & santur
Adrian Owusu – guitars, oud & percussion
James Arben – clarinet, tenor & baritone sax
Ray Carless – alto, tenor & baritone sax
Max Weissenfeldt – vibes & percussion