After rewiring the synapses of the British jazz scene with three feral and sublimely beautiful albums, the semi-free saxophone and drums duo Binker & Mosestenor saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boydhave been taking a break from making music as a unit. But the release of the 12" single "Village of the Sun" / "Ted" looks like those albums may not be the end of the story. Let us hope so, for the music begun on Dem Ones (2015), Journey to the Mountain of Forever (2017) and Alive in the East? (2018), all on the Gearbox label, has legs enough to run and run.
Village of the Sun is the name of a trio initiated by electronic dance-music duo Basement Jaxx's Simon Ratcliffe, who co-wrote the two tracks here with Golding and Boyd and plays all the instruments on them other than saxophone and drums. "Village of the Sun" presents Golding cruising with his vocalised tenor over seven minutes of electronicised post-Alice Coltrane spiritual-jazz terrain, starting in a mellow mood and with a simple five-note motif, building to a heated climax and then kicking back again. It's like sunrise, midday sun and sunset in the eponymous village. Rhythmic interest is created by Golding staying in 4/4 over Boyd's sounds-like 3/4 meets 6/8 rhythm. Ratcliffe's electronic soundscape is the supporting cast.
As it is on "Ted," a faster track on which Boyd creates a rhythm which is somehow reminiscent of West African highlife even though it lacks that music's signature "shave and a haircut, two bits" beat. Golding is less vocalised than on "Village of the Sun" but in a more sustained high-energy mode, starting out in top gear and staying there.
A great, vinyl only (for the moment) taste of what we have been missing with a promise of more magic to come.
In addition to writing and editing for All About Jazz, Chris is editor of the British style/culture/history magazine Jocks&Nerds and consultant Afrobeat historian for Google Arts & Culture and Partisan/Knitting Factory Records.