Lanquidity album cover

Sun Ra

Philly Jazz

The decades-long and thoroughly deranged catalogue of Sun Ra can be deeply forbidding, but if there’s one good beginner’s starting point it’s this from 1978. Yes, it’s consistently out of tune, unpredictable, and irregular in every direction, but it’s rooted in a loose and lovely funk sensibility that anyone with an appreciation for head nod beats can let themselves get drawn into. Some of it, like “That’s how I Feel,” could almost be mistaken for NORMAL music, and all of it, bizarrely, manages to prefigure trip hop a quarter century early and with entirely organic playing. But once those grooves have got you, you’ll find yourself in the weird world of Sun Ra, and gradually getting acclimatised to the glorious illogic that underpins the rest of his work.

Joe Muggs

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