Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Jazz, R&B, Funk, Pop/Rock, Southern Rap, New Orleans R&B, Underground Rap, Roots Rock, International, Brazilian Traditions, Samba, Forro, Carnival, R&B Instrumental, Jazz-Funk, Deep Funk Revival, MPB
Since the early ’90s, New Orleans band Galactic has seamlessly traversed various genres: Jazz, Funk, Electronica, Fusion and Hip Hop. Galactic’s 2010 release, Ya-Ka-May, celebrated this fact by likening the group’s musical palette to a New Orleans dish that combines NOLA soul food with other cultural flavors. Their latest release, Carnivale Electricos, is a marriage of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras traditions and Brazil’s Carnival.
For over 18 years, Galactic has been a restless, continually innovative ensemble that has sought to express every aspect of the cultural experience of New Orleans through music. Carnivale Electricos is a celebration of Mardis Gras Day (aka Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday). The quintet and friends celebrate the varieties of that experience throughout southern Louisiana and the American south, and also throughout the Southern hemisphere with its brand of parade music.
Even before popping up on David Simon’s post-Wire televised love letter to post-Katrina New Orleans, Treme, Galactic were some of the most visible of the Crescent City’s musical ambassadors. Their heavy touring schedule and string of critically acclaimed albums that their name popped up frequently enough, mentioned in the same breath as other road-hardened nu-jazz stalwarts like Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Benevento Russo Duo, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Their latest album, Carnivale Electricos is an apt summary of the band’s sound—hard-grooving New Orleans funk combined with electronics lifted from hip-hop, electronica and house music.
Hey, regressive classic-rock devotees! Why obsess over the ’60s or ’70s when you can go all the way back to the roots of American pop? After all, jazz and blues, originally forged in the great city of New Orleans, are two of the greatest American cultural contributions ever. The dilettantes in N.O. funk band Galactic know this. They pack that rootsy soul into modern, jamtronica pastiches of funk, zydeco, samba, marching band music, and bounce into Carnivale Electricos, the band’s Mardi Gras holiday record, which pulls from its city’s rich musical tradition reverently and dynamically with modern flair and a keen sense of history.
Galactic's musical path has seen them transition from purely making organic, Louisiana-flavoured funk to a harmonious gumbo of jazz, electronic and hip-hop. Oddly enough, in the 18 odd years of their existence, the New Orleans-based instrumental funk sextet had never released a Mardi Gras-themed project, until now. "We're obviously from New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is extremely prevalent.
GRIMES “Visions” (4AD). “Visions,” the third solo album by the Montreal musician Claire Boucher, who records as Grimes, starts out at full speed. Its opening track, “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment,” gallops hard, a collision of art-rock and electro-pop, all in service of Ms. Boucher.