It is ages, or seems so, just a few years, the clock ticking in puppy dog terms, that Shabaka Hutchings flush from the success of the Sons of Kemet had decided to set up a new band on the side. And why not?
And now is the time for Danalogue (Dan Leavers) and Betamax (Max Hallett) who join the ex-BBC New Generation reedist on their Leaf label debut.
These pair Hutchings got to know when they were in a little heard-of duo called Soccer 96.
Hutchings, into Count Ossie and Yusef Lateef, tuned in, he told marlbank at the beginning of the project, “through being a fan of their band and checking their music out. They bring so much energy live that the first time I heard them play I was pretty much blown away, and said to myself: I’ve got to work with these guys.”
He guested on a gig and sat in with the group terming what his new bandmates do as “experimental popular music,” a pretty broad sweep you might say, Hutchings qualifying his statement “though a lot of what emerges musically can be linked to directions pointed towards by modern players of ‘jazz’ music also.”
Hutchings, who first appeared on the aboveground UK jazz scene around 2007 via Tomorrow’s Warriors memorably blowing everyone off the stage at a Jazzwise to the Power of 10 party playing with a then boyish Mark Crown (the trumpeter better known now for gigging with Rudimental), is attracted to how his playing pals lose themselves in the music “to the point of nullifying any genre association which could be placed on it.”
The name The Comet is Coming itself derives from a BBC Radiophonic Workshop piece of the same name, the band in their early days rehearsing in a warehouse space in Dalston called the Total Refreshment Centre.
Hutchings says the Comet sound is distinct from the Kemets’: “The ensemble is very different from say Sons of Kemet in that it is less rootsy, has less of an earthy sound. We’re trying to take the listener into a futuristic world as opposed to reaching towards the earth in our sonic journeys. Cosmic. Sci-fi. Hipster. Punk. SG
The Comet is Coming launch Channel the Spirits, check a promo video for the eighth track taken from it, ‘Star Furnace,’ above, tonight at the London Fields Brewhouse, E8