Flamingods \\ Under The Influence
London-Bahraini band Flamingods, who are fresh from SXSW and currently on a world tour, released Majesty on Soundway Records in 2016.
Ahead of their coming EP Kewali, we took Charles Prest from the exotic-psychedelia collective on a trip Under The Influence. Discover five of Flamingods‘ favourite jazz albums.
Flamingods play The Soundcrash Funk and Soul Weekender on 12-15 May. Get tickets.
Alice Coltrane \\ Turiya Sings
I think this is one of Alice Coltrane‘s lesser known works, but this album delves into such a deep meditative state of mind that blew me away the first time I heard it. I’ve always appreciated it’s very skeletal sound that mixes Western synths which are very reminiscent of Blade Runner with eastern vocals chants. This album reminds me that a song doesn’t always have to be fleshed out and you can say a lot with very little.
Dorothy Ashby \\ Afro-Harping
I discovered Dorothy Ashby quite recently and I’ve been digging the exotic jazz sounds on her album Afro-Harping. I’ve always been drawn to the harp and even found a way of getting it onto our last album Majesty. This album is a lot of fun, with Ashby making such an unlikely instrument like the harp a main instrument and doing something really captivating with it.
Don Cherry \\ Brown Rice
As a band we’ve been listening to Don Cherry for years, in particular this album called Brown Rice. His blend of musical genres from India, the Middle East, and some straight-up heavy bombastic drumming on tracks like Malkauns are all the kind of things that we like to incorporate into our sound, particularly live. We like to exercise the outrageous sometimes and often look to the closing track Degi-Degi as an example of that. Everything from the far out trumpet squeals, ghoulish vocals, and woozy bass-line make for such an intense but cool listening experience.
Sun Ra \\ Sleeping Beauty
Sun Ra’s discography is so extensive that I’ve been trying to put aside time to give each album enough love and attention to fully absorb what I’m hearing. To me, his work always feels like it can never fit on just one album or song, but rather as part of a larger picture. I’ve got favourites from so many albums but Sleeping Beauty was my first proper introduction to the world of Sun Ra. The incredibly seductive optimistic sounds on the track Springtime Again is unreal. Like with Turiya Sings, the album manages to create so much imagery through its musical arrangement.
Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band \\ Tche Belew
We’ve been inspired by a lot of Ethio-Jazz in recent years, especially by artists such as Girma Bèyènè, Hailu Mergia and Mulatu Astatke. All of whom played on this upbeat smile-inducing album Tche Belew. I’ve always loved the classic Ethiopian rhythm as heard in the opening and title track, as well as signature keyboard scales also explored in a lot of Ethio-jazz tracks. This album has a lot of warmth in the way it’s produced and flows really well which is something we always strive to have on our records.
Watch our interview with Kamal and Charles from Flamingods at SXSW.
Flamingods play The Soundcrash Funk and Soul Weekender in East Sussex, England on 12-15 May.
Look out for an exclusive mix ― featuring Flamingod‘s favourite artists from the line-up ― landing on the site soon.
JS | Tina Edwards