JJ Whitefield & Forced Meditation

The Infinity of Nothingness

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In the early 90s, as various UK bands were signed up by sizeable labels and enjoyed even mainstream chart success in the Acid Jazz and rare groove boom, Jan and his brother Max formed the Poets Of Rhythm, self-releasing their own uncompromisingly hard-edged take on 70s street funk on the then completely unfashionable 7" single format, forerunning the Deep Funk scene by almost a decade. 30 years on, in spite of a legion of retro-focused bands having followed in their wake, few have yet to come close to matching the energy and spirit of those early Poets 45s. Since then, Jan has applied himself to all manner of new incarnations and innovative side-projects, releasing further funk surveys as the Whitefield Brothers before leading his own band under the pseudonym Karl Hector, with releases on labels such as Stones Throw, Daptone, Ninja Tune, Mo'Wax, Strut and more. An avid music lover, explorer and record collector extraordinaire, Whitefield's music has effortlessly absorbed his expanding interests along the way, particularly drawing influence from Ethiopian Jazz and West African funk and highlife, as well as Kraut-rock and ambient via his Rodinia alter-ego. More recently, Whitefield has begun to venture into the astral planes of what's now commonly referred to as 'spiritual jazz', and this is very much where we find him manifesting on 'The Infinity Of Nothingness'. A set of mature, delicate and meditative orchestrations, like much of Whitefield's best work the album is studiously true to its key influences - and in this instance the twin figureheads of Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders are particularly preeminent - but also completely avoids falling into a trap of mere tribute or facsimile. With subtle yet diverse accents of Hip Hop, Library and the Avant Garde appearing wholly unobtrusively, the album is unified by a marked trance-like feel, beginning with the sparse, processional opener 'Nothingness' through to the 3 part 'Infinity Suite' of 'Time', 'Space' and 'Energy'. As he did as a schoolboy with the Poets of Rhythm, with 'The Infinity Of Nothingness' Whitefield achieves that exceptionally rare feat of creating music that is not only worthy of sitting alongside that of his overarching influences, but will also stand up with it against the tests of time.

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Details

Genre

Jazz

Release Date

03.07.2024

Cat No

JMANLP144

Tracklist

Track 1
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Track 2
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Track 3
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Track 4
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Track 5
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