Phil Cohran & Legacy – African Skies

Despite the fact that I don’t think I need to discover anything ‘new’ for at least 16 years now to give me time to absorb all the music I have come to know, I nevertheless find myself being a sucker for lists of other artists recommendations, even if I don’t really listen to the music of that artist in question. Case in point – the recent listed feature by Rhyton over at Dusted in Exile contains some good tunes, but it introduced me to this beautiful album by Kelan Phil Cohran, alumni from Sun Ra’s majestic school of thinking freely who composed this tribute after Sun Ra’s death.

I am at even more of a loss for words than is usual with this album. It is simply stunning. One of the albums I would play to any visiting alien as the an example of the superlative best that humanity can offer. Big words, I know, and I don’t usually like that sort of hyperbole. It sounds completely timeless, genre-less – a meditation on life, perhaps.

The nearest frame of reference I can give you from things that I know would be Alice Coltrane, perhaps the Journey in Satchidananda, which I have just discovered features Pharoah Sanders, whose work I cannot recommend too  much – if this cosmic jazz vibe that I’m laying on you is to your taste then seek out his work too.

The CD is available here, although you can’t actually listen to any of it there which is odd for bandcamp. Maybe a licensing thing. So here’s another youtube:

Sungod

It is one of the ironies of doing this blog that nearly every post is written whilst at work, usually in an environment when I can’t listen to the music that my researches throw up alongside my subject of the day (in other words, on the service desk in a library in between enquiries). sg

So I (re)discovered Sungod as a result of trawling the 2015 year end lists, I can’t remember which – I don’t think they had a place on said list, more that they were referenced. The album that I checked out was Contackt from 2013, and I am here to tell you that it fair blew my mind much more effectively than the howling winds that have been such a feature of the UK’s weather these last few months. My particular favourite track is ‘Smell of Physiqal’ which marries monstrous riffing a la Sleep with late 90s Goa style trance-techno, and definitely ranks as my discovery of the year so far. In fact, that description could be profitably used for much of the album, inasmuch as words have any value at all when describing music.

Turns out that buried somewhere on my hard drive was Cuts from the Ether which someone must have copied for me some time back. Turns out that’s nearly as good.

May I also commend to you Vision Space which features extra free jazz into the mix, as they cover a composition of Sun Ra, and which is also a very pleasurable listening experience? I can? Good.

So going back to my opening paragraph, I learn that Sungod now release music via Holodeck records, the home of a previous subject of mine, the marvellous Thousand Foot Whale Claw. So this makes the dipping into of their catalogue a task which I now add to the many other sonic tasks ahead of me, most of which I’m trying to accomplish back at my desk whilst at work, because home life is almost exclusively One Dog Clapping now once the kids are in bed. I also find the now neglected but nonetheless containing of intriguing links which is Sungod’s blog so there be some other stuff that my instinct tells me I must check… fun times! As I mentioned before, this is a brilliant problem to have. Would I rather there was a dearth of good music just so I could keep on top of it?