Galactic was born in the early '90s, after two Washington DC punks – guitarist Jeff Raines and bassist Robert Mercurio – relocated to New Orleans and found themselves intoxicated by the sounds of the scene that nurtured The Meters, Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers and Dr. John. Armed with the rhythmic tradition of its hometown, the five-piece future funk outfit has spent over a decade tearing through venues across the world, leaving hordes of die-hard Galactic junkies in its wake. Constantly weaving modern and retrospective styles into its own trademark jazz-funk-rock fusion, Galactic has created a far-reaching canon informed by ongoing influence from a wide range of genres, including hip-hop, blues, pop, and electronica. Now, with six albums and countless landmark live shows to its credit, Galactic is once again headed to new territory—for now, as an instrumental powerhouse.
With the departure of longtime vocalist Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet in late 2004, Galactic’s remaining five members forged a bold revisitation of their roots as an instrumental act. Anchored by the seamless rhythm team of bassist Robert Mercurio and drummer Stanton Moore, Galactic’s lineup has always represented a diverse set of influences that unite in one, multi-dimensional sound. With Jeff Raines on guitar, Rich Vogel on Hammond B3 organ and keyboards, and Ben Ellman on saxophone, Galactic applies a sense of classic analog funk to a fresh, progressive dimension of creative freedom favoring organic development over stylistic homogeneity. Jazz, hard rock, country blues, and world music styles all find their way into Galactic’s slinky fusion. Each member of the band views the return to instrumental exploration as an opportunity for Galactic to revisit one of its strongest attributes. While the band has always embraced stylistic changes and relished its musical adventures, its instrumental chops have never wavered.
This current drive to develop new instrumental music marks a deliberate shift from the Galactic’s last major creative venture. The making of the 2003 album Ruckus with producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura (Dr. Octagon, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Gorillaz) found Galactic writing concise vocal tunes with catchy pop hooks and plenty of electronic edge. While early albums such as Crazyhorse Mongoose (1997) and Late for the Future (2000) set up transcendental funk jams from loosely composed songs, Ruckus’ 13 tracks presented a cross-section of influences from Galactic’s decade-long career, wrapped into a tight set of songs that showcased individual musicianship as well as overall vision.
Today, Galactic’s organic instrumentals maintain a stronghold among effects, loops, and other modern electronic techniques. In the studio and on stage, Galactic displays a remarkable ability to present modern material with retrospective styling. New York Times critic Jon Pareles noted that Galactic’s songs are, “carried by rhythms that distill memories of Mardi Gras parades, traditional jazz, and rhythm and blues…adding up to some of the most danceable music on earth.”
A sought-after act on the international live music circuit, Galactic has completed countless U.S. tours, four European tours, and four highly successful trips to Japan. At home and abroad, the band has shared tours and shows with an astonishing range of concert blockbusters, including Live, Counting Crows, the Allman Brothers Band, The Roots, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, and Jurassic 5. Now touring as an instrumental act for the first time in 10 years, Galactic is currently in pre-production for a new album that will display further creative development and a new emphasis on instrumental exploration. On the road and in its own New Orleans studio, Galactic continues to reinvent itself, inspiring its ever-growing fan base with ongoing artistic evolution, synthesizing the most thrilling elements of vintage and contemporary styles to keep the party rolling.
Live On Stage:
If there is one thing that you can count on from the Bonnaroo line-up each year is that Galactic will play. They will now hold the distinction of playing the festival the most - 5 times, breaking a tie they held with moe. Here they are from a hometown gig at Tipitina's with "The Moil"....
After taking last year off Galatic will be making their return with a late night set that will see them debuting material from their hip-hop infused new album From The Corner To The Block - and include a number of MC's that appear on the album.
Here's some shows from their most recent tour to check out...
Galactic - 2007-02-17 - Tipitina's - New Orleans, LA
Galactic - 2007-02-03 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
Galactic - 2007-02-02 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
For more on Galactic head on over to their official website - which includes a bunch of great videos.
Set Time: 6/16, That Tent, 12 AM - 3 AM
Friday, June 1, 2007