SONS OF KEMET — Black To The Future (review)

SONS OF KEMET — Black To The Future album cover Album · 2021 · Eclectic Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
snobb
Being a scene leader has its pros and cons. From the positive side, you are known, you have your followers and each of your new works is awaited. From the other side, there are expectations, a lot of them. And it's not an easy job to fulfill all of them. Some fans are waiting for another album of the music they know and like and any change in direction can disappoint them. Others are happy with what you already did but are not much interested in another "same" recording, so they are expecting from you something new. Doesn't matter what you do, some of your fans will be disappointed.

Shabaka Hutchings, who with no doubt is one of the leaders of the burgeoning London jazz scene, runs three different projects trying to solve above mentioned problems in a best possible way, and quite often he succeeds in it.

On "Back To Future" - the newest album from his most eclectic project Sons Of Kemet - is obvious continuation of quartet's previous work, extremely successful "Your Queen Is A Reptile", with some insignificant modifications.

On "Your Queen Is A Reptile", the band's debut on Impulse!, the quartet of sax player, tubist and two drummers went back to African roots, adding more percussive vibes with a big list of guesting additional drummers. Rapper/vocalist Joshua Idehen has been presented on the opener and closer, for the first time (both two early quartet albums were fully instrumental). On "Back To Future", Shabaka uses same formula, when Joshua Idehen opens and closes the show, but there are more guest vocalists on the album (incl. Angel Bat Dawid), as a result, whole recording sounds more as "singing music", rather than just instrumental. And Shabaka adds more brass instead of percussion too. From the musical side we have same Caribbean flavored marching semi melancholic tunes, just less percussive and slightly polished with electronics.

Shabaka obviously trying not to lose a successful formula of the previous album, only slightly modifying and refreshing the sound. As a result, we got an evolutional, not revolutionary work, still with easy recognizable Shabaka's sound.
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