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Legendary New York band M'lumbo distil experiences from their pre-pandemic shamanic travels into their stunning new album The Summer Of Endless Levitation. The eight-track vinyl LP is an avant-garde take on folk music informed by painter and sculptor Jean Hans Arp's 'Biomorphic' works and it serves as a sonic renewal of self.
The cult M'lumbo collective has been a legendary and groundbreaking act since first forming in the mid-80s. They cross genre boundaries as they draw on jazz, world, electronic, rock and experimental music that escapes the commercial world and take you into another realm entirely. There is no limit to their sound; each member brings their own cultural background to the mix, making the band all the more unique.
As the coronavirus pandemic struck, three members of the band Rob Ray Flatow, Paul-Alexandre Meurens and Brian O'Neill under-took a regimen of shamanic traveling in New York City. The experiences led them to spontaneously compose and perform a suite of pieces, informed and inspired by Jean Hans Arp's works but also by the feelings of isolation and indefinite exile yet to come in their urban environment.
Compared to the works they have done as part of the larger M'lumbo band, this album is a more modest and naive affair that is "a vehicle for the renewal of feeling using only a few instruments - acoustic and electric guitar, keyboard, flute, small percussion, kalimba and clarinet - and locating a sense of both the deep sadness and uplifting powers of reverie."
'There Are No Words' kicks off with heavenly chords and organic percussion that recalls the jungle jazz of Don Cherry, then 'Shoreline' is a five-minute dub with percolating rhythms and new age melodies before the soul-soothing acoustic guitar of 'The Afternoon Levitation' blisses you out on a sunny day. The perfectly entitled 'Swoon' is another gloriously uplifting piece of musical spirituality that fuses the electronic and synthetic with the ancient and ritualistic. There is more jungle jazz, big-band horn work and cosmic synth modulations of 'Open The Heavens' while 'Quanta' is a shuffling, jumbled mix of radiant chords, wigged-out electronic lines and celestial charm. 'Planetfall' goes from free-form jazz to double-time techno and back to cathartic ambient. The final trio of tracks conjures up everything from the transcendental jazz of Alice Coltrane to the cinematic downtempo of Calm.
A1. There Are No Words
A3. The Afternoon Levitation
B1. Open The Heavens
B4. The Great Clock