Black Flower (BE)
With a hybrid jazz based on African grooves, Ethio-oriental melodies and psychedelic dub this Belgian five-piece creates an atmosphere where ancient and modern sounds fuse into a powerful, hypnotic and groovy sensation.
Receiving critical acclaim for their second album ‘Artifacts’ (2017), the Belgian quintet are pleased to announce the release of their much-anticipated third album entitled ‘Future Flora’, released 12th April via Sdban Ultra on vinyl / cd / digital.
Piloted by saxophonist/flutist/composer Nathan Daems (Ragini Trio, Dijf Sanders, Echoes of Zoo), the input of notorious musicians, drummer Simon Segers (MDC III, De Beren Gieren, Stadt), cornet player Jon Birdsong (dEUS, Beck, Calexico), keyboardist Wouter Haest (Voodoo Boogie) and bassist Filip Vandebril (Lady Linn, The Valerie Solanas) leads to the specific universe that only Black Flower is able to create.
Where debut album ‘Abyssinia Afterlife’ (2014) and ‘Artifacts’ (2017) bathed in an atmosphere of psychedelics, mythical figures, ancient sounds and modern cultures, new album ‘Future Flora’ refers to the power of plants and their importance for the future.
“‘Future Flora’ is a metaphor for the importance of feeding and watering powerful and revolutionary ideas and initiatives that can save our world. You can compare it with plants that fight between the paving stones of the city for their future. These “urban warriors” need water to survive and grow. Their future and ours depends entirely on how we look at the plant world”, says Daems.
Black Flower’s musical cross-pollination of sounds and rhythms remain on ‘Future Flora’, but there is still room for a more Western touch with Romanian and Maloya (Réunion) influences. Daems developed his own arrangements where Western, Oriental and Ethiopian scales and chords are fused together to create a real mix of traditional instrumentation and modern electrical vibrations.
The strong underlying groove is omnipresent, but the room for psychedelics, folklore and experimentation grows. Songs like new single ‘Hora de Aksum’ combine modern western rhythms with doses of Balkan eccentricities while ‘Future Flora’ takes you on a psyche-delicious 21th century Ethio-dub-jazz trip with echoes of Mulatu Astatke and Fela Kuti.
“The general feeling that dominates is that of strength and perseverance. The feeling that we have to fight for our future and that we have to do it now! The whole album is interspersed with this atmosphere and sounds swirling, haunting and ecstatic. For those who once saw Black Flower live at work, this energy will be extremely recognizable”, he adds.
Black Flower have received radio support from BBC Radio 6 (Gilles Peterson), BBC Radio 3 (Late Junction) and Worldwide FM.
“Black Flower eke out an unfathomable groove that says everything about their riveting playfulness and throttling sense of adventure.” MOJO (****)
Nathan Daems – alto- & baritone saxophone, ney, kaval, washint, compositions
Jon Birdsong – cornet, alto horn, percussion
Karel Ceulenaere – keys
Simon Segers – drums
Filip Vandebril – bass guitar
Belgium and Luxembourg