PUT THIS IN YOUR DEN for a tripped out, psychedelic mesh of funky soul with eclectic influences from around the globe. Imagine a less focused Khruangbin lead by Dope Lemon and backed by SAULT, at times, sort of. Other times, expect lounge music from the Mediterranean future, again sort of. Overall, this is a total mashup of styles, wonderfully laid out by Kutiman.
Available on limited edition clear wax
Open is the sixth studio album from acclaimed composer, producer, filmmaker and multi-instrumentalist, Kutiman. It is an addictive & irresistible twelve-track trip taking in elements of classic soul, Middle Eastern psychedelia, Afrobeat, Thai funk, jazz fusion, cosmic library soundscapes and more.
Returning to the city, post-nine years in isolation and deep immersion in musical and self-study, Kutiman connects the dots between Can, Arthur Verocai & Tame Impala, delivering a fresh reimagining of his eclectic groove-laced sound whilst reconnecting with society, embracing his roots and welcoming the unknown.
As comfortable scoring orchestral suites as he is bridging sounds from Fela-inspired horn arrangements, electric era-Miles funk, classical Indian ragas, or even chopping environmental field recordings, Kutiman’s journey to his latest full-length, Open is a story of complete absorption in sonic fusions. Having achieved worldwide acclaim for his role in Netflix music documentary, Presenting Princess Shaw, alongside his Thru You projects, where he wrote new songs editing together clips of amateur musicians on YouTube, reaching ten million views in only two weeks (voted Top 50 Inventions of 2009 by Time Magazine), Kutiman has applied an impeccable attention to detail over a series of releases from 2016’s inventive “scuzzy desert epic” (The Guardian) 6am, 2020’s psychedelic feast, Wachaga and 2021’s Surface Currents, a 45min ambient outing of weightless piano drones and modular synths.
Moving back to the center of the country, after nine remote years living in a kibbutz in the Negev Desert, Kutiman (who plays every instrument on the record) set out to balance the laid back psych funk present throughout his catalogue, with multi-instrumental techniques he acquired whilst studying in isolation. The result is a twelve-track commute into the depths of Kuti’s diverse influence base.
The uptempo "Vanishing Point" opens proceedings, recalling both Abstract Orchestra's 2017 Dilla tribute and the lounge OST/library music flips of Tosca and DJ Vadim fame. My Everything introduces prominent guest & frequent Kutiman collaborator, Dekel, whose soul-pop vocals coupled with jangly acoustic guitar riffs tip to contemporary indie artists such as Michael Kiwanuka and SAULT. "A Day Off passes through" Anatolian psych and Khruangbin-esque Thai funk whilst the afrobeat/jazz fusion "Confetti" pays tribute to Kutiman's other namesake, Fela Kuti. Dekel rejoins for the beatdown, lilting dub-soul "Believe In You" with hints of Lord Echo and the sun-inflected New Zealand dub-soul sound. The Tuareg-leaning guitar lines on "Canoe" travel across the Saharan desert easterly towards Sudan and Ethiopia by the end, whilst meditative and Coltrane-adjacent album closer "Ripples" provides a final moment of reflection from a truly global excursion of soundscapes.
As the final horn line fades into the sonic distance, Kutiman leaves listeners with little indicators as to where his path might go next. Whether that path leads him abroad or home, one thing is certain, Kutiman’s gift for infectious polyrhythmic grooves will continue onwards, upwards and outwards.