Kolonel Djafaar Cold Heat
Kolonel Djafaar’s Cold Heat packs a mighty punch, combining the irresistible charm of Ethio jazz and psych-rock with the power of a big band brass section, that has made them a formidable live force across Belgium. As they come into their own cinematic sound, now is the time for them to be enjoyed more widely, thanks to masters of exotic groove, Batov Records.
Kolonel Djafaar’s debut release for Batov is an all-killer-no-filler EP. On Bactrian Camel the four-man brass section picks up a thundering groove, only for the organ-led rhythm section to answer with their own snaking retort. Joris Wendelen’s electric guitar riffing adds a further Middle Eastern flavour to the stew.
Written by trombonist Willem De Mol, who delivered the song after two months alone in Russia, Lamentation continues the Ethio vibe with a little Latin panache. The brass-led tone here is mysterious, the melody lingers. An almost surf-esque guitar solo transports the listener before the main groove on organ and brass recalibrates us to the solid rhythm.
Comparable to, but distinct from, The Budos Band and Comet is Coming, the low-slung sounds of Recording 68 in particular reveal Kolonel Djafaar coming into their own. The tempo drops, emphasising the depth of the groove. The EP is appropriately closed in cinematic style on “The Heist”. The pace picks up. Drums of death, in the mode of DJ Shadow or Unkle, hold up the distorted synths and that sharpest of horn sections. A song ready for the dirtiest of chase scenes.
Cold Heat is suitably titled. Fast or slow, killer grooves that will take no prisoners. A taste of Kolonel Djafaar’s power on stage and the clearest picture yet of their direction in sound.
Order cold heat now via our Bandcamp Store.
“another amazing single from one of the best labels in the country”
James Endeacott (Soho Radio / Morning Glory)
Julien Renou (Le Mellotron)
“Pure ethio vibes! I like it”
Mari Kimura (Worldwide FM)
“Lovely atmospheric cosmic Ethio groove”
Ex-Friendly (Radio Alhara راديو الحارة)
“cool psych jazz vibe”
Alex Ruder (KEXP)
Kaptin Barrett (Boomtown, Ujima 98FM)