This CD should be essential for anyone who is a fan of Sun Ra. It is a live concert from Soundscape (recorded on November 11, 1979), featuring such classics as "Astro Black" "Discipline 27," and "Space is the Place," among many others. While the concert could have been recorded or mixed a little better (some of the vocals and instruments are occasionally hard to hear), the performance is brilliant. Mr. Ra, June Tyson, John Gilmore et al. really give the music a vitality that is inspirational and at times staggeringly beautiful.
Sun Ra's orchestra was at its most radical for Outer Spaceways Incorporated, alternating simple chants with very outside playing and dense ensembles. While the sidemen include such notables as Marshall Allen and Danny Davis on altos, baritonist Pat Patrick, John Gilmore on tenor, bassist Ronnie Boykins, and percussionist Clifford Jarvis, most of the other players in the 15-piece band (such as trumpeters Ahk Tal Ebah and Kwame Hadi) slipped back into obscurity after this. The music is quite intriguing, although it requires an open mind and a sense of humor to fully appreciate.
This artist will be familiar as one of the founding members of analogue supergroup Node but has also in recent years released a number of fascinating solo recordings. These tracks build on the distinctive detailed atmospheric style of previous releases and add a more melodic focus that gives the proceedings an extra layer of interest this time around. As with previous releases nothing is quite what it seems in the sonic worlds created here, melodies frequently take an unusual twist and the tracks can sometimes take off at an unexpected tangent. The tools are predominantly analogue hardware with a sprinkling of contributions from custom written software alongside treated guitar. The atmospheres range from mysterious to darkly foreboding with occasional more relaxed flashes of ambient sunlight…
Add equal parts Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, ’60s psychedelia, and Talking Heads’ Remain in Light-era poly-rhythmic Afrobeat, sprinkle a dash of ’70s disco with a chaser of Flaming Lips on-stage spectacle fun, then mix it one tall glass and you have the original sound of the Golden Dawn Arkestra. This is an intoxicating brew that’s best taken in doses long and slow, with a steady infectious beat.
Arkestra bandleader Marshall Allen presents Sun Ra classics and rarities. Includes previously unreleased track 'Trying To Put The Blame On Me' + previously unissued versions of 'Reflects Motion' and 'Island In The Sun'. As the longest-tenured member of the Arkestra (55-plus years and counting as of 2014), there is no one with a deeper understanding of the music of Sun Ra than Marshall Allen, and that's part of what makes In the Orbit of Ra such a special collection. The Arkestra's long history is often divided into musical/geographic periods or spoken of as a progression from inside to outside playing. This set spans from the late '50s to the late '70s but the non-chronological sequencing shows how artificial those stylistic boundaries are.
Laraaji is a musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He began playing music on the streets in the 1970s, improvising experimental jams on a modified autoharp processed through various electronic effects. He has since released albums for a variety of labels, often recording himself at home and selling the results as cassettes during his street performances. An exclusive new Record Store Day album comprising remixes and DJ edits of material from Laraaji's recent Sun Gong and Bring On The Sun LPs. The Album connects the new age ambience of Laraaji's music to the kaleidoscopic cut-ups of the LA beat scene via re-works from the likes of Ras G, Dntel, Mia Doi Todd and Dexter Story.
Much like Evidence's Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out two-fer, We Travel the Spaceways/Bad and Beautiful also features one album from the Chicago period and one from the New York period. The difference is that this New York session (Bad and Beautiful) is probably the first recording made in New York, and the overall sound is more closely tied to the Chicago sound than the later New York material, where rhythm and percussion dominated any melodic elements.