A stunner of a joint effort from Ethio jazz
funk visionary Mulatu Astatke and psych funk genre-busting combo the Heliocentrics – a record we had the highest hopes for and still find wildly above and beyond our loftiest expectations! The collective touch on some classic Mulatu compositions, but the bulk of the material here is brand new, and purely collaborative – if you know the Helioecentrics or you know Mulatu, you can clearly hear what each bring to the table – and it works together brilliantly! There's often a gritty funk bottom end, the best drums and percussion, fat electric bass line
s underneath Ethio jazz
inspired sax, trumpet, trombone and flute – swirling psychedelic flourishes with theremin and other effects that never take away from the groove. Mulatu's on vibes, percussion, Wurlitzer, drums and keyboards – and his compositions and the Helios trade back and forth throughout the set. There's some additional Ethiopian instrumentation and atmospheric vocals in the mix on some tunes, and more of an astral, avant funk vibe on others, but there's always a brilliant confluence of styles. Bottom line
, the album is everything we wanted it to be and more – this will undoubtedly be favorite for years to come! Titles include "Masenqo", "Cha Cha", "Addis Black Widow", "Mulatu", "Blue Nile", "Esketa Dance", "Chik Chikka", "Live From Tiger Lounge", "Chinese New Year", "Phantom Of The Panther", "Dewel"., "Fire In The Zoo", "An Epic Story" and "Anglo Ethio Suite".