The Comet Is Coming launch interstellar new album at London’s Colour Factory

Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam, the latest offering from the Shabaka Hutchings-led trio is as awesome as it is astral

Entering Hackney Wick’s Colour Factory to ominously rumbling synths, bottom-lit crimson strobes, and decked out in garms that could’ve very likely have been pinched from Alejandro Jodorosky’s Dune, there was an uneasy feeling that The Comet Is Coming were preparing to bring the apocalypse. 

But as one of London’s most cosmically-minded jazz outfits, taking the genre from urbanity to the stratosphere is their bread and butter. 

For the album launch party of their latest full-length, Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam released on Impulse! Records, the trio set up the stage in the round for a fully immersive inauguration. No flashy visuals or stage production, just sheer performance.

With no acknowledgement of the visibly sold out venue and rapturous cheers, the band burst straight into the new album’s openers ‘CODE’ and ‘TECHNICOLOUR’, establishing a primal energy from the start as the sound stacks dotted around the central stage throbbed from the kinetic breakbeat drums and Shabaka Hutchings’ screeching saxophone. 

Blending spacey synths and sequencers with muscular, earthy instrumentation has been key to The Comet Is Coming’s success so far, which leans heavily on Hutchings as a de facto frontman because of his relentlessly powerful playing style.

Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam however feels more informed by Danalogue (keys) and Betamax (drums) – a duo that have forged a fruitful partnership writing and performing as the Krautrock-inspired Soccer96 whilst Shabaka’s hands are tied with Sons Of Kemet – who’ve explored pulsating, ravier territory typified by tracks like ‘PYRAMIDS’ and the aptly titled ‘ATOMIC WAVE DANCE’.

Even though they’re unveiling new tracks, it’s anything but a rigid performance. The trio allow plenty of space for improvisation – which has historically informed the genre, as well as the band’s off-the-cuff origins – all capitalising on moments to prove their virtuosity, with Danalogue acting as hype man by flinging his arms in the air during each breakdown. Though there wasn’t any encouragement required when they jammed out frenetic favourites ‘Summon The Fire’ and ‘Super Zodiac’, steaming up the crammed venue even more as the encircled audience wigged out.

With little crowd interaction, their intimate set is wild and unwieldy, as though the band opened a portal into their collective intuition and tireless approach to live performance. 

Filing out of the Colour Factory venue, the entire crowd appeared entranced – just the inter-dimensional outcome The Comet Is Coming intended it seems.

The Comet Is Coming - TECHNICOLOUR

Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam by The Comet Is Coming is available to buy and stream now.