Formed in 2013, this Texas collective bends toward the Great Father, Sun Ra, along with touches of funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Texas is a mysterious place, where large collectives can come together under one or two roofs, add dancers and visual artists where and when they need, amalgamate one subgenre and another and emerge with something that is exhilarating in its newness and invigorating in its ability to make us forget that we ever knew life before it. And, yeah, although the name and obvious Ra influence via the name might have you believing that this is a throwback unit, y’all are in for a pleasant surprise.
Golden Dawn Arkestra, like some contemporary soulmeisters such as Adrian Younge et al., looks to the past for inspiration but decidedly wants us to believe that this is the music of the future. One listen to this, the band’s debut long-player, proves that.
The funky thide of things, as Billy Cobham would have called it, comes to light in the full tilt groove that is “Sama Chaka”. The band eschews anything close to traditional lyrics, preferring to repeat the title when the mood strikes and to let the groove do the talking. It’s hypnotic and meditative, reminding one of services at some sort of space church where Father Ra is worshipped and where we respect his apostles. It’s hypnotic enough, one must concede, that one might just sod it all and join this lot’s cult.