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THE SHAOLIN AFRONAUTS: Quest Under Capricorn (2012)

Quest Under Capricorn is the second LP from Oz-crew The Shaolin Afronauts who, despite the afrobeat foundations of their sound offer something here that is liable to appeal beyond the afrobeat-freak circle of interest in much the same way as debut LP Flight Of The Ancients. The album has a sixties/ seventies vibe that’s part Lalo Schifrin film/cop-show soundtrack-esque (Brooklyn, Los Angeles), part trippy early fusion Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis (Amhara, Voyage, Saturn’s Dance) – and maybe even a bit Alice Coltrane/Journey In Satchidananda (End Of The Sun) at times. They also like to dress up in masks, hooded robes and body paint. It reminds me of back in the day. Not the kinky masks and shit – obviously – more some of the jazzier side of things I investigated when the term ‘rare groove’ first began to be bandied about. If cosmic contemplation is your thing – this wouldn’t be a bad soundtrack for it especially with a ‘special’ cigarette for company. It’s not just the planetscape cover-art, the track titles – (Forests Of Lo and Winds Across Gayanamede for example) – there’s even a couple of those jazz stalwarts the ‘prelude’ going on – all psychedelic horns and no beat. Don’t worry though– with eleven tracks weighing in at just under fifty minutes – they’re keeping it tight so there’s no danger of it going all prog-fusion. Well, I say tight – there’s a seven and an eight-minuter but that’s hardly lengthy in the world of fusion where half an hour-plus tracks are no rarity. Audio link below and player of dope opening track Brooklyn below that…and brucie bonus vid below that…
(Out 16 July on Freestyle Records)

Listen to Shaolin Afronauts – Quest Under Capricorn HERE (sorry, no full audio yet)

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