The UK’s cosmic, psychedelic-funk ensemble issue their second album on maverick producer Madlib's label, Madlib Invazion.
The Heliocentrics emerged out of the ashes of the heavily ‘Deep Funk‘ inspired band ‘the Soul Destroyers’ when drummer Malcolm Catto and Bassist Jake Ferguson found themselves increasingly frustrated at the limitations imposed on them by playing an established musical genre.
Catto’s solo project ‘Popcorn Bubblefish’ (on Mo Wax) and Jake’s ‘Nesta’ from this period reflected their growing dissolution with the ‘Soul Destroyers’ limited musical vocabulary and were an early signpost indicating a shift both of musical direction and consciousness. After reuniting with like-minded ex ’Soul destroyers’ Jack Yglesias – Percussion/Flute and Ade Owusu – Guitar, they would meet at Malcolm’s home studio to play together and record onto an old 60s reel-to-reel tape machine (this material would later compile the majority of their acclaimed debut album ‘Out there’).
Free from the constraints of conforming to any one musical style, they now solely created the music that they wanted to hear but didn’t exist by pooling together all of their many individual and shared influences, which still include – Library music, Musique du monde, Hip Hop, Psychedelia, Post Punk, Electronica, Afrobeat, Spiritual Jazz, Krautrock, Contemporary Classical music/ Musique concrete, Dub, Broken beat, Drone rock, experimental music and late 60’s raw Funk 45s.
The Heliocentrics have applied this musical philosophy for well over a decade of playing together and fuelled by their diverse collaborations with pioneering young and old musicians and their continual search for new inspiration (Malcolm and Jake are obsessive crate diggers), they have managed to continually evolve, keeping things fresh for themselves as musicians and so far evading being pigeon-holed into any genre.
The band have now racked up an impressive and eclectic catalogue of releases and have worked and recorded with an array of diverse musical luminaires such as –
DJ Shadow, Archie Shepp, Bilal, Marshal Allen (and members of the Arkestra), MF Doom, Mulatu Astake, Percee P, Orlando Julius, Melvin Van Peebles, Pharoah Monch and their most recent collaboration and release is with LA wild card the ‘Gas lamp killer’.
The Heliocentrics continue their quest to create music that is unique to them, which they themselves want to hear and are constantly reinventing their sound as their tastes evolve and they unearth new influences.
Their current lineup is:
Dan Smith – Guitar and Electronics
Barbora Patkova – Vocals and Percussion
Danny Keane – Cello and Electronics
James Arben – Bass Clarinet and Oboe
Sylvia Halley – Hurdy Gurdy and Serengi
Jake Ferguson – Bass and Effects
Malcolm Catto – Drums and Percussion
AGENT: Polly Miles