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.

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

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