With the release of their debut album ‘Burn’ on 9 September Sons of Kemet cemented the fierce reputation they had garnered through their incendiary live performances. Led by clarinetist, saxophonist and composer Shabaka Hutchings with Oren Marshall on tuba and both Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford on drums, these four mighty creative forces have yielded music that is powerful, lyrical and, above all, fiercely original. Seldom have a band on the British jazz scene created such a buzz before releasing an album, but through their live shows – and on-air support from the likes of Gilles Peterson on 6music, Jamie Cullum on Radio 2 and even John Kennedy on XFM – Sons of Kemet did just that.
Although born in London, Hutchings spent most of his childhood in Barbados and it was back there that he turned for inspiration, with two artists in particular making their mark on him – Count Ossie and Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks. However, it’s partly the deployment of two drummers that gives Sons of Kemet their compelling and infectious sound. Skinner and Rochford’s visceral exchange of rhythmic ideas is an unforgettable, highly danceable experience. Throw into this one of the great wild cards of contemporary British music, Oren Marshall on tuba, and you have a wonderfully unorthodox configuration. A configuration that The Guardian described in a recent 4 star live review as “visceral as a rock group, as serenely sensual as a ska band, as rootsy as a percussion choir and as instrumentally hip as a post-bop outfit”.
The 18th annual MOBO Awards will take place on 19 October 2013 at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Watch the new Czlowiek Kamera (Fever Ray, Sigor Ros, Half Moon Run) directed promo video for ‘Inner Babylon’ here:
Sons of Kemet support Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana: Mehliana at the Barbican on 21st November 2013 as part of the London Jazz Festival.
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