The Heliocentrics – ‘Collateral Damage’ EP / ’13 Degrees Of Reality’ LP [Now-Again]

Reason to celebrate with a new full length from The Heliocentrics en route. Malcolm Catto has been a constant point of fascination for me, a famed introvert with amazing record knowledge and the most unique and talent drummer ever recorded in my opinion. His self-timing is just incredible; some form of laid back off-kilter beat whacked out with full intent, making everyone around him play better. The man defines groove.

From his Popcorn Bubblefish project to work with Mr. Chop, the MRR-ADM 10″ and more recently as studio and live drummer for DJ Shadow and Quantic to name but a few, Catto is pure vibes. Apparently a word thrown around quite often while they wait for the room to get right he’s also in the top circle of record collectors, and for a while was pulling the late nights at Jazzman Gerald’s offices as the man going through the US phonebooks calling houses with last name’s that matched those on forgotten 45 record label centers. This was back before internet had everything, and tracking down the original artists / songwriters / publishers was considerably harder than now.

Dissapearing off the scene for a while (to Australia by accounts) he re-emerged with a new band called The Heliocentrics in 2005, a member of which was another Mr. Chop / Ape Studios / Stark Reality / Jazzman Records / DJ Shadow aluminary, Jake Ferguson. One single was released on Jazzman that year before a two-year hiatus before the LP Out There dropped on Now-Again, joined by a string on singles tied together in Stones Throw fashion and a fan club 45 of jazzier material. For the most part The Heliocentrics were the perfect blend of funk, breaks, hip-hop and psyche, thrown together in Sun-Ra inspired atmospheres for some incredible music.

The live shows sounded completely different to recorded material – Catto centre back stage with sunglasses on leading the group. I remember one gig where one of the horn players put down his instrument and pulled a giant cookie out of his pocket. He jsut sat there on stage for about 10 minute eating and bopping along before finishing the snack, picking up his instrument and returning to the fray without missing a beat. It was that sort of pretty special vibe going around the club.

Reason to rejoice then that there’s new material coming on Now-Again, including a full length due out in April to be titled 13 Degrees Of Reality. Thus far we’ve only got proper details and heard bits from the EP titled Collateral Damage, and it sounds amazing. More so than Medeski, Martin & Wood, Mortiz Von Oswald Trio, The Gaslamp Killer or any of their contemporaries are the pairing of Catto and Ferguson able to produce music so unique and heady, yet still blatantly created from influences of electronic, jazz, funk or hip-hop, and do it all live. They sound like no one else, harsh, heavy and intense but laid back and moving at a comfortable place. No over production here, and you can tell the leaders are on bass and drums.

The three tracker Collateral Damage has recently been made available to the Now-Again subscribers. No wax release on this one but all the joints will be making it on to the forthcoming LP.

Watch here for more information on the album closer to the date. To have a listen there’s a stream immediately below before the press release of a a track called ‘Wrecking Ball’ – which can also be downloaded as a gift to non-subscribers directly from the Now-Again site here:

via Now-Again

Over three years in the making, the UK collective Heliocentrics’ sophomore album for Now-Again, 13 Degrees of Reality, is due to be released in the first quarter 2013. As a preview – and, as promised, an exclusive for Now-Again Deluxe subscribers – we’ve making a 3 song EP, Collateral Damage, available – it’s up now! The variety of the psychedelic sounds on this EP, as always, backed by the Heliocentrics core/production team of Malcolm Catto (drums) and Jake Ferguson (bass) hint at what’s to come next year.