Here's a rare treat for jazz fans: a previously unreleased recording of Sun Ra and his sprawling Arkestra performing live, during their early 1970s pomp. Planets of Life Or Death: Amiens '73 was, apparently, recorded direct to reel to reel during a concert in France, then mastered for this release from that solo tape copy. It sounds wonderful, as you'd expect, and as freaky, colourful, vibrant and psychedelic as you'd expect. Check, for example, the discordant percussion and repetitive organs of the 17-minute "Love In Outer Space", or the proto-modem noises of the decidedly intergalactic sax and electronics jam "Discipline 27-II /What Planet Is This". The latter is, without doubt, one of the most out-there freestyle jazz workouts you're every likely to hear.
There has never been a pairing more suited to hail in an impending apocalypse than State of Mind and Black Sun Empire. Heavier, more oppressive and more industrial than a storm cloud canopy filled with nails, "Until the World Ends" is a suitable starting shot. "Bad" picks up the pace with a submersive neurofunk out of body experience, and "Ego" carries on the scene with frantic synth hammering with a beat that almost spins out of control. "Jack Nicholson" (great title) features an iconic line from a Nicholson cult fave Five Easy Pieces, and finally "Moonbox" takes things to the dancefloor for a final, debaucherous fling. It must be pretty exhausting being this intense all the time.