Sons Of Kemet
Sons Of Kemet's reputation preceded this, the London-based quartet's first album, and if their live performances carry anything like the variety of expression and mood contained herein, it's little wonder. With an instrumentation that's surely unique - clarinetist-saxophonist, tuba player and two drummers - they offer up a panoramic sound ranging from the uncompromisingly industrial to the quietly vulnerable as Oren Marshall, on tuba, flits from creating eerie underwater atmospheres to kicking the music along like a puffing version of Bootsy Collins, and joining Shabaka Hutchings's saxophone on Inner Babylon's exultant melodic line. The music connects New Orleans marching band and Jamaican dance rhythms while also reaching further back into the African tradition (as on the plaintive, folksong-like The Godfather), and drummers Seb Rochford and Tom Skinner lend both a streetwise edge and an unashamedly melodic undercurrent. Repeated listens reveal more and more detail on an album that grabs the attention from the word go and - beware - may well have an addictive effect.