The power trio The Comet is Coming, comprised of Dan Leavers ( Danalogue), Shabaka Hutchings (Shabaka), and Max Hallett (Betamax), have released ‘Code’, the first single from their forthcoming album ‘Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam’ which will be released late September on Impulse. ‘Code’ is hailed by their label as an ‘intergalactic head-banger that explores hidden meaning and codes in humans (DNA) and technology’ and is accompanied by a ‘visualiser.’ Watch here
The title might make you think The Comet Is Coming has gone esoteric and caught up in their hype, but listening to the single will happily alleviate that fear. This is jazz but liberally dosed with synthesiser, saxophone and drums which have a punk rock, trance and metal attitude somehow combined to encapsulate the trio’s established voice or power, deep rhythms, and grooves. The trio is as fiery as ever, grounded, and the sound is relentless, captivating, and unique.
I have reviewed Shabaka and Betamax ( On a glorious album with his father, the improviser Clive Bell) and Comet’s 2019 album ‘Trust In The Life Force of the Deep Mystery.’ Each musician can turn their hand to a range of styles, but together, the trio has that unspoken communication that speaks of an almost perfect coming together. And that is a story in itself, as all three musicians attended the Guildhall School of Music, and Danalogue and Shabaka shared the same saxophone tutor but missed each other the entire time. Danalogue and Betamax formed a duo called Soccer 96, which got Shabaka’s attention. After some dialogue between the three musicians, Shabaka joined the duo one evening, and the energy which passed through the three was electric, and Comet was formed. Danalogue describes the process as ‘the algorithm of fate.’
The trio challenge perceived formats, creating links that baffle yet mesmerise, and while there is a repetition in phrasing, there are also varied and interesting riff changes.
The album was recorded n Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio in rural England immediately after lockdowns allowed and, together with engineer Kristian Craig Robinson, set out to record over four days guided only by their collective intuition. The album’s overarching theme is the potential humanity has to undo in an instant, the creation which has taken millennia to perfect.
The single is a thing of beauty, power, and drive and leads to a belief that the album will be something special when it is released. September 23rd will see that happen.