ORLANDO JULIUS & THE HELLOCENTRICS
Few artists have been more crucial to the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius. At his club residency in Ibadan, Nigeria, Orlando was one of the very first to begin fusing US R&B with traditional highlife during the mid-‘60s with his Modern Aces band. His ‘Super Afro Soul’ album from ’66 set the blueprint for a whole generation of Afrobeat and Afro funk stars and, in an illustrious career, Julius met and played with Louis Armstrong, The Crusaders, Hugh Masekela and Lamont Dozier among others, famously co-composing the classic ‘Going Back To My Roots’ in 1979 whilst based in the USA.
Led by drummer Malcolm Catto, The Heliocentrics straddle hip-hop, funk, modern creative jazz, psychedelic electronica, and world musics. They acknowledge as influences James Brown, Elvin Jones, David Axelrod, Sun Ra, Ennio Morricone, Stark Reality, and Joyride. The Heliocentrics have backed DJ Shadow, Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke and American poet/activist Melvin Van Peebles. In 2010 the Heliocentrics issued Lloyd Miller & the Heliocentrics, their collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and Middle Eastern jazz innovator Dr. Lloyd Miller. They didn’t issue another recording until 2013, when they re-emerged with 13 Degrees of Reality and in 2014 they teamed up with Orlando Julius to release the album Jaiyede Afro.