My first contact with Sun Ra Arkestra was couple of years ago back and was happened after I have met with producer, co-founder of Babylon and one of my musical heroes Ahmet Ulug who generously shares his musical passion with me all the time. I’ve always appreciated and admired what he has done. In Sun Ra’s music, I have heard undefinable multi-layered sounds that has strongly related each other to create a brand new sound universe. That has made a strong effect on me as a human being.
Couple of days ago I’ve seen a news on social media that made me excited . Sun Ra Arkestra have shared Somebody Else’s Idea, the lead single from their new album “60 minutes of magic” Living Sky, which will be released on 7th October via Omni Sound.
Omni Sound is an independent label based in New York and Istanbul. Omni aims to nurture interdisciplinary and culturally transcendent collaborations compelling a catalog of music through delicately curated projects.
Sun Ra Arkestra has been spearheaded by musical director and legendary altoist Marshall Allen who is now 98. After Sun Ra’s departure from planet earth, his acceptance from the cultural establishment steadily increased.
The album was recorded in Rittenhouse SoundWorks Studio Philadelphia on 15th June 2021. It features 19 musician and string section. As far as I have learned, the creation of the album was based on Ulug’s request that is to be “spiritual and hypnotic and to that effect down tempo, melodic and grooving…….from the kora to EWI; ancient to the future; music that is accessible and healing in the Covid era.”
Recently issued song was first instrumental recording of Ra’s Somebody Else’s Idea which was originally recorded in 1955 and again in the album of Sun Ra & His Astro Infinity Arkestra. 1970 version with the furious vocals of June Tyson was two times longer than the new version. This time the piece, less ostentatious but conveying the same message perfectly is re-composed with repeated wordless hymn and spiritual-based horns with melody over Afro-Carribean percussions.
The new album Living Sky is mixed and mastered by Grammy award winner producer Dave Darlington. The spectacular cover art by activist Damon Locks who is known as a leader of Black Monument Ensemble. Graphic design by Ulaş Eryavuz and animations by Bora Genel. Photographs by Vladimir Radojicic, liner notes by Peter Margasak, text editing by Izlem Arsiya. Producer is Ahmet Uluğ and Co-Producer is Rana Uludağ.
I have listened to new digital version of beyond magnificent Somebody Else’s Idea with my hi-fi grade headphones (sure one can not hear enough detail if you compare it with vinyl) to heal my soul countless times and completely satisfied with the moments I have spent. I can’t wait to have my physical copy (for the detailed review) in my hand. You can pre-order to have yours from Bandcamp.