Meet King Shakaba, Danalogue The Conqueror and Betamax Killer, aka The Comet Is Coming, a psychedelic jazz electro trio from London. Lauded as the spiritual sons of Sun Ra, their shows are an extraordinary experience in energy, and their sounds truly cosmic. I spoke to synth player Dan Leavers about how they met and what outer space means to them.

INFORMATION Te Comet Is Coming play at Norwich Arts Centre on 8th May. Tickets available from norwichartscentre.

transcendental quality to your music, look and identities – does it feel like a good escapism to make this music now? I’ve carried the moniker Danalogue since DA-10’s first EP Te Future is Futureless on Wotnot back in 2011. I play exclusively analogue synths. Certainly we feel like we are moving into a new, darker chapter globally and sociologically, and it is a time that requires a level of strength of character to keep going, and to feel a personal and collective resistance against division and aggression. Our names have a warrior energy that describes how we feel about our music – it’s a powerful weapon. I feel like when you make music, you create a new space to inhabit, a kind of indescribable void that we all know and remember when we get there and does interesting things to your body, your mood, your emotions and your imagination. When we play, I see it less as escapism but more like we’ve arrived, back to where we came from, or where we ought to be - a reunion with a force. How fussed are you about playing the songs exactly as they are on record when you play them live? Tat must be pretty hard as they are so complex. We are not fussed at all. I see the live world and the studio world as something completely separate - what works for us on


ou have some amazing pseudonyms - Danalogue Te Conqueror, Betamax Killer and King Shabaka. Tere’s a

record doesn’t necessarily translate live and vice versa. Live we want to create feeling of intense visceral energy and overwhelming waves of raw emotion - on the record there are elements of that but it’s sometimes a bit more controlled, and we add percussion which we don’t have live. Dan and Maxwell, you’re also in an outfit called Soccer96. How did you meet Shabaka? Shabaka used to come to our shows to check out what we were doing, and one night in Brixton he appeared at the side of the stage wielding his saxophone and kind of gestured at the mic in the middle of the stage and we welcomed him onstage, and as he blasted rapid fire, righteous notes at the crowd we noticed a levitation happening which was impossible to forget. We booked a recording session shortly after. What’s the best thing about being a part of Te Comet Is Coming? It has allowed us to play with our imagination as a line of work. Tis I recommend in the upmost! Imagination is a portal. And work pays your bills. What could be better? How well do you have to be able to play instruments in order to improvise and freestyle would you say? I’ve always said you only need to be able to play one note. Tere are improvised concerts at the Total Refreshment Centre in Stoke Newington, especially at Alabaster DePlume’s monthly nights, and often

the crowd is picked at random to play something. I’m always blown away by what a great sound a group of improvising non-musicians can make. Really really really - anyone can do it! Playing music is just another form of communication. We are trained at school to think that you need to be taught something academically to be able to do it, and you can certainly improve your motor skills and ear perception through training, but to improvise, man you just need ONE NOTE! Is there lots of brilliant dancing at your gigs? Tere is - we did a gig in Newcastle where a woman was gripping the stage and head banging, and then another woman came up randomly and they just started hugging and dancing together - it was such a beautiful moment. I spoke to them afterwards and they were strangers before but became friends. Where in the world would be the ideal setting for a Te Comet Is Coming gig? We’d actually love to play in an observatory, or high on a mountain, or on a sea fort, or our biggest ambition is to actually play in space. What can we expect from your show at Norwich Arts Centre in April? It’s going to be LARGE. I’d usually recommend a change of t shirt.


Read the full interview online at

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