Song of the Day: The Sorcerers “Summoning the Monkey God”
The pandemic and social distancing has found me digging deep, discovering (and re-discovering) some amazing and sometimes challenging music. Not so much a noble pursuit as an ongoing exercise in obsessive vinyl acquisition, I’ve been doing my part to support musicians currently making great music. The Sorcerers are a Leeds, UK-based trio on a mission to explore the sounds of Ethiopian jazz and Afrobeat. Originally formed in 2015 to record the one-off single, “In Pursuit of Shai Salud,” for their own ATA Records imprint, the band—multi-instrumentalist Pete Williams, bassist /guitarist Neil Innes and drummer Joost Hendrickx—experienced such a warm reception (including favor from the father of Ethiopian Jazz Mulatu Estatke), they further developed their sound for a full-length album, the 2019 self-titled The Sorcerers.
Released late last year on ATA, “Summoning the Monkey God” was the lead single for the 2020 sophomore album, In Search of the Lost City of the Monkey God, an album conceived as a soundtrack for an imaginary film. The name for the album was taken, appropriately enough, from the title of a National Geographic article.
Like some of the best European library and soundtrack music of the late 60s and early 70s, The Sorcerers create evocative atmospheres, traveling to far-off lands without leaving the confines of the recording studio. Driven by an elastic bassline and punctuated by an exotic-sounding bass clarinet, “Summoning the Monkey God” is an instrumental reminiscent of some of the best work of Brooklyn-based The Budos Band. The sound is lush and hypnotic, shot through with a propulsive tension that in the band’s own words “conjure up images of the unforgiving environment of the dense jungle, unknown eyes watching the protagonists of the imagined film as they make their way towards their ultimate goal, their pursuit by unseen assailants, the arcane mysticism of undiscovered cargo cultists and the ancient ruins of long passed civilizations.”
The album was released in limited physical and digital formats on January 24th, 2020 and is currently available via The Sorcerers Bandcamp page.