Golden Dawn Arkestra’s Spacewaves

Intergalactic ensemble adds in Nigerian electro dance grooves

Golden Dawn Arkestra’s spaceship has been converted to a flex fuel hybrid. Whereas their interplanetary big band used to run exclusively on pure Afrobeat – pumped straight from the psychedelic jazz-funk reserves of Sun Ra – the local vessel now comes equipped with a battery system that charges via electro dance grooves.

Photo by John Anderson

“We just returned from ions of space-time travel and have brought with us our new vinyl discs of joy,” reports GDA multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Zapot Mgawi, referring to the follow-up to the band’s debut EP. Sophomore full-length Stargazer drops Feb. 26 on Modern Imperial Records.

“While traveling, we stopped in Nigeria at William Onyeabor’s God is King Palace, where we were greatly inspired by his electro dance grooves, and we have brought these new influences to the table, some of which you may hear in this song ‘Spacewaves.’”

The track alternates a bouncy, “dance to the beat” refrain with spooky, down-tuned vocals warning “the Earth ship burning.” When the breakdown hits at 2:24, you can almost feel the space waves flowing in to take GDA safely back to Saturn.

Austin’s love for the Arkestra is such that they demand a two-night album release show at Mohawk next week, Friday, Feb. 26 and Saturday, Feb. 27. Tickets.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Golden Dawn Arkestra
SXSW Music: Golden Dawn Arkestra
SXSW Music: Golden Dawn Arkestra
Sun Ra’s second coming and a psych-soul surprise

Thomas Fawcett, March 16, 2016

More by Kevin Curtin
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Nov. 27, 2020

Austin Music's Adrian Quesada Won't Be Stopped by a Pandemic
Austin Music's Adrian Quesada Won't Be Stopped by a Pandemic

Nov. 27, 2020


Golden Dawn Arkestra, Stargazer, Sun Ra, William Onyeabor, Modern Imperial Records

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle