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Out There

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Album Review

Despite having been DJ Shadow's backing band on a couple tours, Out There is the debut full-length from the Heliocentrics. It's an inspired mix of cinematic hip-hop instrumentals and Sun Ra-style jazz exotica with horns and percussion a-plenty. Some of the shorter tracks serve more as interludes, sometimes using spoken samples from film (???) that all relate to the concept of a journey "out there" to the cosmos and back, but the vast majority of the album is instrumental. It's more about the grooves than the solos, although flutist Jack Yglesias and synth player Mike Burnham have some really nice moments. Speaking of the groove, drummer Malcolm Catto and bass player Jake Ferguson keep it solid, aided on percussion by practically everyone else in the band. If funky beats, riffing saxophones, and an anything-can-happen mentality strikes your fancy, you might want to give a listen to the Heliocentrics.


Formed: 2005 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailing from the United Kingdom, the youth-oriented ensemble the Heliocentrics are hard to pigeonhole, though some have dubbed them a contemporary acid jazz band. Led by drummer Malcolm Catto, the band straddles hip-hop, funk, modern creative jazz, soundtracks, library music, psychedelic electronica, and world musics. They acknowledge as influences James Brown, Elvin Jones, David Axelrod, Sun Ra, Ennio Morricone, Stark Reality, and Joyride. Madlib and Yesterday's New Quintet have prominently used...
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Out There, The Heliocentrics
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