Lapis Lazuli - Alien

Lapis Lazuli – Alien

Another band helping to define the New Canterbury sound, and actually hailing from the Kent cathedral city, Lapis lazuli burst upon an unsuspecting world in 2012 with their double-debut, the “un” rather than “in” famous Bungalow Sessions, released as two separate albums on the same day. April 2014 saw the release of Alien / Abra Cadaver, an album that combined the forty-minute, five-part track Alien with a twenty five minute Latino-Canterbury freakout entitled Abra Cadaver, reviewed over at DPRP last year.

The reason for this mini-review is that at the end of October, the album-length opus Alien will be released on vinyl, via Smugglers Records in the UK and Celebration Days Records in France. This will be not only a good starting point for newcomers to the band, assuming they are in possession of a record deck, but also a must for vinyl freaks.

Elements of Gong, National Health, Hatfields, and more jazz oriented outfits like Ian Carr’s Nucleus, and even smooth jazz fusioneers Snarky Puppy are present here. The suite is a triumph of ensemble playing where no one instrument gets to dominate for more than a few bars at a time. A “big band” feel is given by the fabulous trumpet and saxophone combination, and the rhythm section is tight as a nut as well as being as funky as fuck.

The band have that quirky Canterbury sense of humour, referencing Gong at the end of Part I and Glenn Miller via some Spike Jones craziness at the beginning of Part IV. They must be a blast live, for they are as sparkly as the gem stone they are named after and as zesty as the wonderful hops of their home county.

For a few days, you can still pre-order this vinyl album via Bandcamp and get £2 off.

01. Alien Part I (9:08)
02. Alien Part II (6:23)
03. Alien Part III (6:46)
04. Alien Part IV (8:27)
05. Alien Part V (7:38)

Total time – 38:23

Dan Lander – Guitar
Phil Holmes – Saxophone
Dave Brittain – Trumpet
Adam Brodigan – Drums
Tobias Allen – Bass Guitar
Neil Sullivan – Guitar and Midi Guitar

Record Label: Smugglers Records / Celebration Days Records
Catalogue#: n/a
Year Of Release: 2015

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