Music Review: The Comet Is Coming's 'Trust In The Lifeforce Of the Deep Mystery' | WOSU Radio

Music Review: The Comet Is Coming's 'Trust In The Lifeforce Of the Deep Mystery'

Apr 23, 2019
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The instrumental trio The Comet Is Coming has quite a mission statement. On its latest album, the group says it's going to destroy illusions with a musical expression forged in the deep mystery that involve the embracing of chaos.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "BLOOD OF THE PAST")

CORNISH: If you want to embrace the chaos, The Comet Is Coming is touring this spring and summer, with dates at Bonnaroo and other music festivals. Meanwhile, the group's second album is out now. It's called "Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery." And our reviewer Tom Moon gave it a listen.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "BIRTH OF CREATION")

TOM MOON, BYLINE: They talk about astral projection and all that space stuff, but parts of the new album by The Comet Is Coming are much closer, stylistically, to classic horror movies. There's bass clarinet, a reliable ghost presence suggesting danger lurking in the shadows. Multi-instrumentalist Shabaka Hutchings is good at that otherworldly vibe, but he doesn't dwell there for long.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "BIRTH OF CREATION")

MOON: Really, on this album, the music doesn't stay planted anyplace for very long.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "BIRTH OF CREATION")

MOON: The Comet Is Coming is part of a thriving improvised music scene going on in London. It's a subculture tuned to experimentation, populated with musicians and producers who grew up on electronic dance music, as well as the intergalactic sounds of Sun Ra. The trio orients itself around simple recurring riffs - the kind you'd maybe hear in a religious ritual - and then they work them into lacerating gales of sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "TIMEWAVE ZERO")

MOON: The three musicians - Hutchings, keyboardist Danalogue and drummer Betamax - began exploring together in 2015. They compose on the spot and have said that when they entered the studio to make this album, they had nothing prepared. Their only limitation was time. They recorded onto 30-minute reels of old-fashioned analog tape. Once they documented several days of open-ended jams, they edited the results down into finished tunes.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "SUMMON THE FIRE")

MOON: The Comet Is Coming has released a few animated videos for songs on this album. They're inventive and plenty trippy, but it seems to me the best way to appreciate the twists and turns in these cinematic journeys is with your eyes closed.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE COMET IS COMING'S "SUMMON THE FIRE")

CORNISH: The second album by The Comet Is Coming - it's called "Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery." Our reviewer is Tom Moon. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.