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Matthew Ruddick

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Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 24 August 2019 16:47

The Comet is Coming - Trust in the Lifeforce of Deep Mystery

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Modular moves cut with spiritual grooves.

Album cover art is often illuminating when it acts as a trailer for the music wrapped inside.  Eschewing a group photo The Comet is Coming treat us to a science fiction landscape of a rouged Martian sand, a pale blue monolith and lava lamp like hinterland. This solar sound world is further illuminated with a sparky vision statement.

‘Through the transcendent experience of music we can reconnect with the energy of the Lifeforce in hope of manifesting higher realities in new constructs’.  These sentiments maybe worth taking as seriously as the ruminations of Marcus Aurelius or perhaps just the musings of a Marvel Studios speech bubble writer.  However these cares are easily put to one side when the sounds are as immediate, anthemic and of the moment as per this release.  A sound that is on first name terms with prog, dance and held winningly together with a draughts of spiritual brio.

The London based trio perform under aliases. Shabaka Hutchings is King Shabaka, Dan Leavers is Danalogue on keyboards and Betamax is Max Hallet on drums.

The album lifts off with Because the End is Really the Beginning. It is a thick shifting analogue keyboard overture with Sun Ra looking over its shoulder.Those keyboards push and pull with more fervor and tip into Birth of Creation. Hutchings bass clarinet hovers into the mix pressing play with an insistent mantra like melody.

Summon the Fire, a BBC 6 Music favourite , is punchy anthemic potboiler. The vertiginous keyboard riff matched and raised by Hutchings fervent scales. The tune itself brushed with the liniment of clubland is the albums icebreaker and pop moment. Kate Tempest adds poetry to Blind of the Past, a lengthy absorbing face off with Pharoah Sanders style blow outs and solid chugging tempos.  

Astral Flying has slick electronical time changes with an easy weaving melody. Sounding more Stateside than other tracks it showcases the groups colour box of vibe and texture. Each track flows into each other facilely perfecting the groups signature sound and often leaving the listeners ears smiling. The Universe Wakes Up adds a calming pastoral flourish at the albums journeys end illustrating the neat pacing of the albums running order.

TCIC traverse the past and present but their main accord is the power and luminance of this trio.  A power trio in style and substance and one 2019’s best so far.

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