5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: INSPIRATION INFORMATION (Audio CD)
A truly inspired collaboration that brings out the best in those involved. Mulatu Astatke's jazz with Ethiopian melodies is intriguing stuff and he was recently re-discovered partly via the Ethiopiques vol. 4 album that re-issued some of his 60's tracks. However, his recent solo album, Mulatu step's ahead, also released on Strut is for me a bit lightweight.
The Heliocentrics are a British based band influenced by the best of late 60's and early 70's spacey funk and jazz. They are led by Malcom Catto sometime drummer for Quantic Soul Orchestra who is also involved in discovering old records for Jazzman records. However, I do find the Heliocentric's own albums lack a bit of focus.
With this record you get the best of both worlds. The Heliocentrics add some oomph to the music as well as some nice spacey touches which give it a feel closer to the music on Ethiopiques vol.4, whilst also making the music sound more contemporary. Astatke's compositions give the album more depth and mean that the album isn't just a collection of interesting but similar instrumentals.
I should however point out that Astatke only appears on some tracks and this album really is a collaboration that features the Heliocentric's as equal partners. Yet the tracks do have a complementary feel and the album is overall homogenous. There are many catchy tracks on the album and my only complaint is that the first and last tracks are the weakest. Overall though it's a fantastic album.