Emanative - Time
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So with Dom Servini’s usual eloquent introduction, the mighty live version of Nick Woodmansey’s Emanative project in all it’s 10 piece (Dectet?) glory took to the stage at Favela Chic last night (as previewed HERE so don’t say you didn’t know it was the place to be).
Well, it was a very nearly full house of faces old and new (including Gilles Peterson who brought Emanative’s first album of Space “to the masses on Radio 1”) and the band certainly lived up to expectations with their mix of electronic spacebeat spiritual jazz.
Now, what is Time? The sequence, movement or change of particles in space would be your dictionary definition but in this case it’s a collection of unreleased and remixed tracks. Now that sounds like the type of press release where a record label is scrapping the bottom of the proverbial barrel with industry Special Editions aimed at squeezing the last p out of die hard fans. But in this case, we know that Futuristica Music is not like that as Time actually sounds like a new studio album as 1. the unreleased tracks are special in their own right and 2. the remixes are by “friends & family who really understand the thinking behind the whole Emanative approach, whilst lending their own unique musical viewpoint to proceedings”; and not only that, many were at the gig lending support.
And for starters, the opener ‘Lights On/Off’ sounds like a ‘lost’ Michael White, Pharoah Sanders, Curtis Mayfield instrumental; but better! I love this track and would happily get the album for this one alone but luckily the rest of the album is just as good.
And as we were on the Great Eastern Road last night, the track ‘Eastern Orbit’ is full on the mystique of the orient in a Yusef Lateef meets Sun Ra on the space winds of Jessica Lauren’s keyboards with some stunning vocals (you’ll recall on Space Nick not only worked with Jessica (who tells me her own album Film is earmarked for a revival as it was ahead of its time when originally released in 2000), Ben Hadwen, ‘Level’ Neville Malcolm and vocalists Heidi Vogel, Deborah Jordan & Liz Elensky to name just a few.
And whilst we’re name droppin’, ‘Find You’ features Mathew ‘Colour Yes’ Halsall! Now that’s no normal “unreleased track”, it’s an absolute masterpiece out jazzin’ and out deepin’ Cinematic Orchestra - oh, yeah. And with such tracks, I really have struggled to say what my favourite is, that’s even trickier with the remixes.
The remixes come from rather diverse spectrum of amazing music makers - Marc Rapson, Soundspecies, WaH-cHU-kU (aka Tony ‘CDR’ Nwachukwu), Kay Suzuki, Jazz Chronicles, K15 and (another Wah Wah 45s connection), Scrimshire.
I’ve heard it said that the Scrimshire’s remix of ‘Illusions’ “is my favourite” more than once and it’s truly a stunning example of soul-jazz pop. Pop! Yeah this is popular music for the masses; “wake up, time is ticking.. life is for living”. You are the one (all of you) - it’s like a jazz version of Salvador Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’ if Alice Coltrane was being produced by Flying Lotus.
Whilst on the subject of “family”/Servini/Wah Wah 45s, another connection is that Scrimshire ‘The Low Road’ (that features the vocals of Rob Hynd) has been remixed by Marc Rapson and is currently out on a Wah Wah 45s as a 7”; “it’s Rapson dance floor filth!”
Now as I’m leftfield, my favourite is Nick’s own Dub-Ra remix of ‘Space In Veda’. It could have been better with a full 12” disco mix but when the ‘Level’ Neville’s bassline gets dubbed out with King Tubby echo on the chimes of Negus al a Miles - that’s special space oddity.
The extra-mile detail of Space has been reproduced on Time with the brilliant artwork of Gene Pendon again (and not forgetting the Spacebeats EP, even though a bit shocked by the colour to start with but need t-shirts) but getting back to the jazzheads, what’s your favourite cover version of ‘Naima’? Well there’s a few contenders but Time has another one - you must be convinced by now that Emanative is ‘Album Of The Year’ yet again.
There’s even a chance to have a boogie under the disco ball of Saturn with Kay Suzuki’s remix!
And I’ve not even touched on the remixes (our leader) Jazz Chronicles and Soundspecies or from last night, Ben Hadwen’s Gyaling (need to be seen/heard to be believed) or Mr. Conte’s immaculate DJing (and clothing). Hopefully, we will follow up these matter with a new interview with Emanative (see HERE for the last one) with further thoughts on such matters, comedic garden rakes and everything included illuminated breast implants (and I’ll chip in with antidotes on South West Train’s train cancellations to keep things in order).
So whilst waiting for late night trains, I did start thinking that after Time and Space where do you go? I suggest Continum but wherever it is, it’ll be out there; Sun Ra ya here me?
Reviewed: Emanative - Time (Futuristica Music) Cat. No: FMCD009 Release date: April 2010
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