Words by Howard Male
London’s frenzied fusioneers reach a liquid-metal heat
‘World fusion’ bands often don’t do much fusing at all. Instead, they might have some ska numbers, an Éthiopiques-style track or a Balkan brass crowd-pleaser and so on. This London-based band are the happy exception to this rule. In fact, what we have here, on their abrasive, anarchic second album, is a super-alloy rather than a mere fusion. That is to say, something stronger and more flexible than the elements from which it’s composed. Yes, you can still hear the African and other world influences present on their 2013 debut, but now they course through the blood of the musicians rather than being merely adopted as window dressing.
It’s all about the groove, until, that is, the groove self-implodes and we’re taken down a free-jazz side street to have our wallet and passport stolen. Sometimes singing in French, sometimes English, sometimes merely chanting or screaming with in-the-moment abandonment, Kushai Gaya’s often unhinged vocals find their nearest comparison in Fear of Music-era Talking Heads or Flowers of Romance-era Public Image Ltd. Last Evenings on Earth is a densely textured and challenging listening experience that you’ll either love or loathe. If anything more potentially game-changing comes along this year, I’d be surprised.