Witness the colossal combination of jazz and psychedelia spat out at the uneven pace of one’s own thoughts.
Words by Brad Harris
Imagine sitting down to listen to your favourite blissed out jazz, something you think you know inside and out. Gershwin’s Summertime, Oscar Peterson’s Night Train or even Coltrane’s take on My Favorite Things, when suddenly your head starts spinning and the walls no longer seem so permanent. This is how it feels to listen to Aaron Space and His Terrestrial Underlings; a colossal combination of jazz and psychedelia spat out at the uneven pace of one’s own thoughts, and new single Grid is no exception.
Released on criminally underrated London based label Dig That Treasure! following an appearance on their wonderfully expansive compilation Elevate last year, the track is a maximalist exploration of an OCD-fuelled paranoia episode that composer/ vocalist Elihu Knowles believed to be a psychotic break. “Following an extremely difficult and uncomfortable night,” he writes “I woke up the following morning and drove myself to the emergency room, convinced that I had completely lost my mind.” What manifests is a searching work, diaristic in feel and sharing a kinship with fellow restless virtuosos such as Standing on the Corner, Mid Air Thief and Taylor Skye.
The associations with jazz legends are also not unwarranted, as Knowles lists the big band style of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus as a key influence, and there is similar reverence towards days of psych past. Samples litter the landscape, reminiscent of the heyday of Animal Collective and, like the aforementioned, one can feel a love for the omnipotent Dead in the shambling solos. Fans of this aspect should take note of the gorgeous zine that comes packaged with the release, full of head-spinning drawings and imagery stylistically parallel to the music.
As a whole, the upcoming EP moves in a similar way, spanning D’Angelo-esque jams, whimsical plunderphonics and large scale jazz balladry, but you’ll have to wait until May 21st for that. For now, however, acquaint yourself with Grid, dig deep into previous release Fishland released on Moon Glyph records, and lose yourself in Aaron Space’s world.