The Heliocentrics 13 Degrees Of Reality

The Heliocentrics 13 Degrees Of Reality
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2007's Out There established London, UK-based the Heliocentrics as a formidable psychedelic jazz ensemble, offering instrumental, head-bobbing funk and hip-hop grooves soaked in Sun-Ra-inspired, cosmic Afro-futurism. The last six years have seen collaborations with like-minded sonic adventurers DJ Shadow, Quantic, Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke (on 2009's Inspiration Information 3) and Oriental jazz trailblazer Dr. Lloyd Miller (on 2010's Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics) that raised their profile to greater heights. Therefore, it shouldn't come as any surprise that 13 Degrees of Reality is more musically ambitious and satisfying than its predecessor, adding jazz, rock, a variety of world music and a cool dash of post-punk isolation. A sound bite from George Bush Sr., proclaiming "a new world order," seguing into Malcolm X's famous observation about the "American nightmare," establishes a palpable sense of dread. This is maintained throughout, thanks to drummer Malcolm Catto and bassist Jake Ferguson, who forge a block-breaking, almost fatalistic rhythm that powers the Ethiopian, jazz-flavoured "Ethnicity" and the widescreen, Ennio Morricone-esque vibe of "Collateral Damage." The seven-minute-plus "Wrecking Ball" meanders a bit, but possesses enough of a restless groove to command attention. Though initially intimidating, 13 Degrees Of Reality's murky, dub-inspired sound and paranoid aura get under the skin after repeated listens. (Now Again)