Kolonel Djafaar Getaway

Label
Batov
Released
5th April 2024

Format Info

LP - black vinyl

Popular brass-led ensemble, Kolonel Djafaar, unveiled its second album, ‘Getaway’, their first for Batov Records, seamlessly blending Afrobeat, Ethio jazz, and psych rock, whilst showcasing the band’s evolution over the past couple of years.

Having built a loyal local Antwerp following off of the success of their 2019 debut self released album, ‘Forgotten Kingdom’, and growing reputation for electrifying stage performances, Kolonel Djafaar achieved worldwide recognition in 2021 for the ‘Cold Heat’ EP on Batov Records, attracting praise from Music Is My Sanctuary (“triumphant), and support from Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Radio Music, and DJs across Worldwide FM, Soho Radio, Le Mellotron, and KEXP.

The group overcame busy schedules and frequent quarantine periods to hit the studio in February 2022 to lay down four tracks. However, the creative itch persisted, leading to an intense writing session in August, deep in the heart of a tranquil forest. From noon until midnight, the band immersed themselves in the creative process, embracing the freedom to make noise without restraint.

Fueled by hearty breakfasts, unwavering focus, and the ambient clucking of chickens roaming the studio, Kolonel Djafaar crafted the majority of ‘Getaway’. This period marked a pivotal shift as a number of new band members joined just in time for the August sessions.

Membership changes, including Emiel Lauryssen joining on trumpet, alongside guitarist Philip Matthhijnssens, the band’s palette has broadened and new sounds are able to break through. From psychedelic rock and soul influence of the Daptone Records’ affiliated Budos Band, surf rock (“Urban Dweller”), Morricone Spaghetti Western guitar, and Afro Cuban (“Kelmendi”), alongside the brassy Afrobeat and Ethio jazz vibes the group have been known for.

The broader dynamics of ‘Getaway’, and the band’s more cinematic and experimental approach, is particularly apparent on “Siren’s Glitch” and “Phil’s First Tear”. The latter, first conceived by drummer Anton Van Hove, features the lead guitar doubling up with the bass guitar for added impact. Whilst the origins of “Convoi Exceptionnel”, a brass & synths stomper of a march, trace back to a jam session during the band’s Hungarian tour, another vital period of prolonged time together, capturing the organic essence of their experiences on the road.

Each track on ‘Getaway’ holds a unique connection to at least one band member, and all benefit from a collaborative approach to songwriting. “Sparking Clover”, an Ethio-inspired psych & soul groover penned by tenor saxophonist Doyin Smith, carries a poignant undertone inspired by personal loss, while psych rock leaning tracks like “Apologies in Advance” showcase the band’s evolution and increasing professionalism in crafting a distinct sonic experience.

The curious cover art depicts a lone individual heading down an empty city street towards a large mysterious glowing object, evoking the common emptiness and struggle of urban life, and the search for meaning or just something better. The band envision the object to represent this album, offering a beacon to like-minded listeners.
Kolonel Djafaar invite music enthusiasts on an immersive journey, to ‘Getaway’ from the daily grind of life, on an album reflecting diverse influences and marking a new chapter in their musical exploration.