The Comet is Coming - Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery


The Comet is Coming

Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery

UK trio The Comet is Coming – Shabaka Hutchings on saxophone and clarinet, Dan Leavers  (aka Danalogue) on keyboards, and Max Hallet (aka Betamax) on drums – shape an intergalactic adventure through rich synths, distorted drum machines and the alternately soothing and stressful sound of Hutchings’ sax.

If the point of this album is to implore the listener to trust in something greater than themselves, it more than accomplishes its goal.

Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery isn’t heavy on the lyrics, but “Blood of the Past” features poet Kate Tempest speaking over a doom-inducing instrumental arrangement. The instruments pull back for a minute while she speaks to the ignorance of a people, “unable to stop, unwilling to learn,” before heavy, zipping synths rip in alongside a crashing, straight drum line.

The mood moves from awe in the first track, a feeling of space and beauty, to an active place of fear and drive through “Super Zodiac”, before finding lush serenity in “The World Wakes Up”.

Danalogue’s use of keyboard and synths sound throughout the album reference a retro-future of deep purple hues and Jetsons technology. The constant movement in each synth part pushes the sonic shape of each tune, layering soft beds of sparkle and innovation around the unmistakable sound of Hutchings’ reeds.

Hutchings – best-known for his other gig as the leader of the mighty Sons of Kemet – pushes his sound with gusto to create tense moments, but never loses the oomph or body of the note.

Betamax keeps it all together and occasionally takes it further through his deliberate and sparing playing. When he swaps the kit for the drum machine, we’re fully onto another astral plane. Different percussive sounds and samples make the geography of the song feel never before seen.

“Timewave Zero” stands out as a more traditional track, taking a breather from the large sonic landscapes and moving instead to a direct, jazzy shuffle. Trust in The Lifeforce of The Deep Mystery is nothing but reverent to the practice of spiritual jazz and life itself.  

The Comet is Coming are performing at the 2019 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Sunday, June 23, at The Cube in Old Market Square.

Jen Doerksen