Album of the week: The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery album cover

Fair warning, I am about to use the phrase ‘Space Jazz’. I implore you to look beyond that or risk missing out on a quite brilliant album…

Space Jazz trio The Comet Is Coming have been quite a revelation for me. I first had my ears opened to a bit of jazz last year by, among others, the brilliant Sons of Kemet. Perhaps it’s no surprise that one of the main reasons why Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery is so darn good is the sax and clarinet of Sons of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings that features on this album. But it also manages to add some impressive and heavy bass synth work to the mix, adding in some real dance floor credentials.

The album starts off realtively sedate, giving little indication of what’s to come. Because The End Is Really The Beginning is an atmospheric, almost proggy, start to the album with little in the way of beats. It’s a real scene setter that then leads into Birth of Creation, which introduces some nice meaty, throbbing, synths to the clarinet work. You start to get the feeling that the album is beginning to lead you somewhere and building up to something more special.

Which is precisely what we get with Summon The Fire. There’s a pounding synth, great drum work, Hutchings’s saxophone gets its first proper workout – Sons of Kemet-style – and there’s a few nice background effects going on too. This is proper jazz music for the dance floor.

Things then get deeper with Blood Of The Past, with a fantastic mid-tempo hypnotic bass synth line that becomes a proper head-nodder. There’s even a slight mid-eastern feel to the sax work, but what makes this the standout track is the inclusion of spoke word maestro Kate Tempest from the midway point. Even if the word ‘jazz’ sends shivers down your spine, give this track a whirl.

Super Zodiac sees more breathless sax work from Hutchins. Bar the dreamy synths, this could easily be a Sons of Kemet track, but the inclusion of them adds a bonus layer.

The album then starts to ease off the pedal slightly. Astral Flying‘s slower pace allows both the synth and sax some breathing space, while Timewave Zero is more typical space jazz (if there is such a thing) but moves towards a more house-y feel by the end.

Unity offers us some laid back tribal drum rhythms, while closer The Universe Wakes Up provides a low-key atmospheric ending to the album, with just a hint of random jazz wig out (the bit that usually really annoys me).

I’m still not yet a jazz enthusiast, most of it still seems like pompous musical masturbation to my mind, but I can certainly get down with this kind of groove.

Beware the comet, for it most certainly is coming.

Release date: 15 March 2019

Rating: 8/10

Standout track: Blood Of The Past

For fans of:

  • Sons of Kemet
  • Theon Cross
  • Kate Tempest

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2018 Music Review – March

After the relative famine of February comes a bountiful feast in March. I could quite easily have made of top 50 of great albums released this month. There’s no place in my list for the reformed and revitalised Breeders, despite a strong effort. No room either for the soulful voice of South African trailblazer Nakhane, the laid back R&B licks of Ty, the all out alt-rock of Turbowolf (yes, it sounds exactly like you think it would), the shoegaze glory of Air Formation or the fuzzy indie-stomp of Cabbage. There’s not even a place for one of my all-time favourite artists, Biosphere – but then if you will make an album largely consisting of farm machinery noises tit risks being quite divisive.

So what did make it into the top 10? Surprisingly, an act as traditionally bluesy as its possible to get made a big impression on me. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite‘s No Mercy in this Land is a classic piece of harmonica and electric guitar blues rock, that will get your toes tapping and put a smile on your face.

Less surprising was the arctic-inspired techno of Molecule. This type of sparse beat-driven dance music was my bread and butter back in the day.

Gwenno‘s Cornish-language pop odyssey Le Kov has shades of St. Ettienne to it, while remaining truly unique.

Special shout out to veteran industrial metal outfit Ministry. This is the first time I’d come across them since the early nineties and their album AmeriKKKant, is a not-very-subtle attack on Trump’s America, but no less enjoyable for it.

Rolo Tomassi‘s Math-rock opus Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It is an excellent way to get your fix of delicate female vocals laced with death-metal growling. It’s even more pleasing to know both sounds are coming from the same vocalist.

A quick mention for the R&B stylings of Young Fathers and The Skull Eclipses, who did their very best to warm me to a musical genre that has largely passed me by.

Perhaps it should be no surprise that I’m a big fan of Demob Happy, being that the band formed in their hometown of Newcastle before moving to Brighton. Their album Holy Doom lands them somewhere between late-era Beatles, Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age. Initially it took me a while to warm to this album but I adore it now.

The album that finally got me to rethink my view on jazz is Sons of Kemet‘s Your Queen is a Reptile. In some ways to call it jazz does it a disservice. It’s as groove laden, incessant and addictive as any electronic dance music band. The Tuba and drums lay down a wicked rhythm section that just does not quit, while the sax and clarinet take you to a higher plain. Utterly brilliant.

However, it wasn’t quite as brilliant as Slow Sundown from Holy Motors. This Estonian band deliver some beautiful languid guitars that invoke the feel of a relaxed desert road trip. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had decided to rent themselves a Cadillac and cross Death Valley and your getting somewhere close to this haunting piece of joy.

Top 10 March 2018

1: Holy Motors – Slow Sundown

Standout track: Sleeprydr

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2: Sons of Kemet – Your Queen is a Reptile

Standout track: My Queen is Doreen Lawrence

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3: Demob Happy – Holy Doom

Standout track: Runnin’ Around

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4: The Skull Eclipses – The Skull Eclipses

Standout track: Take My

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5: Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar

Standout track: Wow

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6: Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It

Standout track: The Hollow Hour

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7: Ministry – AmeriKKKant

Standout track: Twilight Zone

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8: Gwenno – Le Kov

Standout track: Den Heb Taves

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9: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – No Mercy in This Land

Standout track: The Bottle Wins Again

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10: Molecule – -22.7°C

Standout track: Délivrance

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