Village Of The Sun | First Light
Village Of The Sun is an enigmatic collaboration between UK jazz virtuosos Binker Golding & Moses Boyd and electronic music legend Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx fame. Born out of a shared passion for improvised instrumental music, the new project sees all three of the artists steps into relatively new territory, combining their respective sensibilities to create something all at once atmospheric and danceable.
Evocative of some of Simon’s inspirations such as Alice Coltrane, Airto Moreira and Masters at Work, Village Of The Sun embodies a hybrid of electronic beats, heady jazz improvisation, and sheer, raw energy, breaking ground between pseudo-Samba rhythms, dreamy ambient textures, and explosive sax and percussion. The new single “The Spanish Master” is a total embodiment of what Village Of The Sun is at it’s heart. Combining atmospheric synth lines with percussive electronics, which gently ebb around Boyd’s intricate drumming and Golding’s expressive sax. With tension building around every element the track careens into a movement of frenetic drumming, electronic idiosyncrasies, and fervent sax breakouts, which find the trio performing at their energetic, adrenaline-fuelled best. The album is truly a project of passion and exploration, and one that refuses to follow just one path.
Tracks such as “Cesca” and “Tigris” emphasise Ratcliffe’s ability to weave shapeshifting keys and electronics around Golding and Boyd’s interplay, changing the mood and direction of the track at a moment’s notice. Whereas the title track “First Light” channels the sound of the current UK jazz scene with Ratcliffe imbuing a sense of dramatic tension and release with electronic atmospherics and keys that ferment alongside the almost shamanic, semi-free sax lines and uncomprimising drums.
As part of one of British dance music’s biggest ever acts, Basement Jaxx, Ratcliffe and collaborator Felix Buxton led the progressive house sound in the 90s/00s with ground-breaking albums Remedy and Rooty, and by releasing a string of Top 10 singles including Red Alert, Rendez-Vu, Romeo, and Where’s Your Head At?. Ratcliffe’s own solo work includes the 1995 EP City Dreams and the 2011 EP Dorus Rijkers - both releases prove his musical versatility and virtuosity. Speaking about the Village of the Sun collaboration, Simon says, “I’ve always liked improvised instrumental music. It has this intensity and eccentricity that takes me places.
1. The Spanish Master
4. First Light
5. Village Of The Sun