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CALIBRO 35: S.P.A.C.E. (2015)

SPACE Calibro 35You’ve got to have some cojones or a reputation for delivering excellence if you want to open your latest LP with a beatless bit of two-minute instrumental atmospherics that sounds like a generic mood-establishment piece off any sixties/ seventies sci-fi/ horror flick you care to mention. I wouldn’t know about the first but Italian cinematic funksters Calibro 35 certainly have the second – as the fact that they’ve been sampled by Dr Dre, Jay Z and Demigodz would suggest. Famous for their ‘crime funk’ instrumentals and quality videos (in which they go at it in balaclavas like extras in outtakes from Romanzo Criminale), it seems that it was time for the band to conceptually flip the script for new LP S.P.A.C.E.. Which meant goodbye to the ‘super heavy mod-funk meets cop show themes’ of yore and hello to spaghetti space funk – the genre where super heavy mod-funk meets early synthesiser-based library music with a bit of Rage Against The Machine thrown in. No really. Check the pulsing galactic bass and guitar laserfire of the aforementioned Bandits On Mars for proof of that last point.

Aside from the single, the LP includes such delights as the clattery breaks and retro-organ antics of the title track and catchy afro-tinged number Ungwana Bay Launch Complex. There’s also the clavinet-powered funk of Across 111th Sun (which presumably soundtracks what happens when Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto end up in spacesuits), the psych-mod-funk of Violent Venus and the Barbarella-esque downtempo loungecore of A Future We Never Lived. If you dig retro sci-fi mood music (and why wouldn’t you?) there’s plenty more of that periodically throughout and for the last two tracks as well. All in all – nice work and one for fans of Big Boss Man and Link Quartet in particular.
(Out now on Record Kicks)

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