SummaryNow-Again Records is the imprint helmed by Stones Throw Records' GM Egon. At Stones Throw he worked and works closely with artists such as Madlib, DOOM, Oh No, Percee P, Guilty Simpson and the late J Dilla to help develop, produce and market some of the most groundbreaking hip-hop of the past decade. At Now-Again he normally produces critically acclaimed anthologies of obscure '60s and '70s funk and soul such as The Funky 16 Corners, Cold Heat Vol. 1 and the Kashmere High School Stage Band's Texas Thundersoul. But every once in a while he hears a new band with music so incredible that he just has to get their music out. And, if their music is too out there for Stones Throw, he releases their music on Now-Again.
The Heliocentrics are such a band. Their debut album is fittingly called Out There. Their informal leader, the relentless drummer Malcolm Catto, and Egon have been friends for some time. They've been working to get this project together for over four years. And they're both extremely proud of the result.
Good luck trying to categorize their music. The UK collective's objective lays quite a ways beyond what ordinary listeners know or expect. In an alternative galaxy, where the orbits of Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz, Psychedelic, Electronic, Avante-Garde and Ethnic music all revolve around "The One" - that's where you might find The Heliocentrics.
A listen to a song or two reveals no small influence from the funk universe of James Brown. But there's also the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra's music. The cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone. The sublime fusion of David Axelrod.
But the Heliocentrics' music isn't retro. It's brand new. And it's timeless. They have well-placed fans in the likes of Madlib and DJ Shadow, who will tell you that this band is really the next shit but that they have the consistency and musicianship that seems to have been lost somewhere in the analog to digital shuffle over the past thirty years. They are the real deal. They are "Out There" in the best possible sense of the word. Dig it.