The buzz surrounding The Comet Is Coming has been growing ever since the cosmically-inclined nu-jazz trio dropped their Mercury-nominated full-length debut Channel The Spirits in 2016. They would further hone their fusion of jazz and electronica with elements of Afrobeat, funk, hip hop, psychedelia, space, prog and krautrock on the limited edition EP Death to the Planet a year later, before signing to legendary jazz label Impulse! Records. Established in 1960, the Universal imprint has been home to many of their influences over the years including John and Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders.
After the success of seemingly tireless saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings’ other project Sons of Kemet, which put out the Mercury-nominated Your Queen Is A Reptile just last year, he wasted little time jumping back in the studio with Soccer96 duo Dan Leavers (keyboards) and Max Hallett (percussion). Their second full-length Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery sees the nu-jazz trio evolve their sound further, taking cues from spiritual jazz and science fiction. It’s an exhilarating 45-minute journey, but one that feels more enlightened and cohesive than their scattered, high energy debut.
Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery calmly creeps into being with ‘Because the End Is Really the Beginning’, building ever more slowly with ‘Birth of Creation’ as the throbbing electronics and sax melody come into play. It’s with the fittingly titled ‘Summon the Fire’ the album really takes off, carried along with a simple bass groove and Hutchings’ driving sax work, almost imitating a football chant at one point. The eight-minute centrepiece ‘Blood of the Past’ features some spoken word by rapper and poet Kate Tempest, speaking about the lack of connection between human beings and everything else that’s shite about modern life either side of two bass heavy sax freakouts.
After a breezy opening section ‘Super Zodiac’ continues with the frantic energy of the core part of the album, before seamlessly shifting into the steadier ‘Astral Flying’ (there’s no way things could have continued at the same pace without Hutchings bursting into flames). Not yet ready to fade out as the album slowly faded in, ‘Timewave Zero’ takes things up a notch one final time with some fantastic percussion and increasingly crazed sax work as the track develops. Towards the back end the mellow ‘Unity’ oozes positivity with its fluttering sax and tribal percussion over gentle synths, while ‘The Universe Wakes Up’ closes album with something more atmospheric and inspired by free jazz. Niiice.
Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery is available now via Impulse! Records