Blackism

A 10 track crossover jazz album (40m ) — released January 20th 2017 on Enid Records

The ghost of Miles Davis (mid 1970s edition) hangs over much of the proceedings, thanks mainly to the

presence of Andy Knight's quicksilver, effects drenched trumpet; the opening title track is a slow burning slice

of dystopian funk laced with lysergic electronic touches and gurgling electric bass. 'In Rhythm' is a deep, funky,

juggernaut that doesn't really let up for much of its 7 minutes. Powered by Lascelle and Frank Byng's twin drum

attack (part Can, part James Brown), the track feels like a distant cousin to the Art Ensemble's 'Theme de Yoyo'.

Underpinned by fat globs of synth bass, the extraordinary Maggie Nicols riffs, chants and eventually lets rip with

a series of whoops and shrieks before the track fades out. Recorded by Primal Scream/My Bloody Valentine

engineer Brian O'Shaughnessy pretty much live in one room, it's an intense ride.

Elsewhere VBF hint at the airy, open spaces of early Weather Report or Joe Henderson's mid 70s dates for

Milestone - 'Sawalha' features Heliocentrics saxophonist James Arben's airy tenor tracing sweetly oblique

lines over a ticking afro-jazz percussive matrix. 'Ofilli' mashes up abstract electronic bursts and choppy organ

pileups over an urgent, punkish groove before collapsing into a delicate, free conversation between flute, tuned

percussion and bass. The shorter tracks are more abstract, personal affairs, flecked with Lascelles's trademark

percussive inventiveness and some squelchy electronic touches, like a more cosmically inclined Art Ensemble

of Chicago maybe, or Sun Ra crashing an Airto session with a malfunctioning moog under his arm. Stylophone

and even a broken zither make fleeting appearances. All gates are open.

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