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The Heliocentrics

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  • Years Active: 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Hailing from the United Kingdom, the youth-oriented ensemble the Heliocentrics are hard to pigeonhole, though some have dubbed them a contemporary acid jazz band. Led by drummer Malcolm Catto, the band straddles hip-hop, funk, modern creative jazz, psychedelic electronica, and world musics. They acknowledge as influences James Brown, Elvin Jones, David Axelrod, Sun Ra, Ennio Morricone, Stark Reality, and Joyride. Madlib and Yesterday's New Quintet have prominently used Catto's drumming and sampled sounds. The full nonet includes Catto on drums and piano; Jake Ferguson on bass and Thai guitar; Mike Burnham on modular synthesizers and effects; Jack Yglesias on flute, percussion, and santur; Adrian Owusu on guitars, oud, and percussion; James Arben on clarinet and tenor and baritone saxophones; Ray Carless on alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones; Max Weissenfeldt on vibes and percussion; and Khadijatou Silcott-Fraser (K2 Wordplay) on vocals. The Heliocentrics have backed DJ Shadow, Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke on Strut's Inspiration Information, Vol. 3 in 2009, and American poet/activist Melvin Van Peebles. The group has issued the single "Distant Star," Out There featuring Karen P and Karl Injex on LP and CD, and "Sirius B" with Percee P and Doom. In 2010 the Heliocentrics issued Fallen Angels: The Singles Collection in Japan and Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics, their collaboration (also on Strut) with multi-instrumentalist and and Middle Eastern jazz innovator Dr. Lloyd Miller. They didn't issue another recording until 2013, when they re-emerged with 13 Degrees of Reality on the Stones Throw imprint Now-Again.