Astralblak (fka Zuluzuluu) continue to evolve and expand their sound on their new Seeds LP (release show TONIGHT!)
Astralblak are a collective that have always worked on a different celestial plane. They’ve changed names, and the various members have continued to put out great solo projects over the last few years, but there is a special energy when this crew — Proper-T (voice, keys, synth), Greg Grease (voice, drums), DJ Just Nine (turntables, synths), MMYYKK (voice, keys, synths, vibraphone, horns) and and deep supporting cast — combine forces. Under the old Zuluzuluu name, they released one LP and a killer collection of funk/rap/soul covers, but they never have fallen prey to having their sound become tired or repetitive. Seeds, their new 15-song LP, is righteous, soulful, funky, provacotive, sexy and chalk full of deep grooves that bubble underneath the whole project. It shows the group evolving their sound and expanding their sonic palette into new and exciting territories.
The album captures various strains of music and weaves them into a collection that sounds futuristic while still giving a respectful nod to the elders who crafted the sounds that led to this point. It is socially conscious while still being fun and engaging in a way that is really hard to do. Think Sly, Curtis, Prince, and other legends who somehow walked that line in a powerful way. The group also continues to blend in Greg Grease’s powerful raps (and others, including a killer cameo by Lioness) into the music in a way that works better than many groups who try to drop in a rap verses into albums that aren’t all or mostly hip-hop. Their sound is confident and thoughtful, but never feels overtly calculated. And damn is it funky as hell.
Seeds is a record that deserves numerous spins just to catch the intricate layers. It is a record that rewards the listener, whether you are dissecting the lyrics or just there for the sumptuous grooves. The band are equally killer on stage as they are on record, so once you’ve given this record some spins, make sure to head down to the Variety Theater tonight (Sat 11/24) for their CD release show. Joining the band the Night Church crew to celebrate their third anniversary. It promises to be a night of amazing art, music and dancing. More info/RSVP to the show HERE.