Stirred up from deep within, from an abstract spiral of sound and movement, from a sensation of time and space absolving and converging at once, the Black Flower musicians have molded a tangible matter: the album Artifacts. Their second full album sounds international and ageless. Eastern influences, Ethiodub and jazz effortlessly merge. Fantasy and reality seem to fuse. In a word: nourishment for body and soul.
Psyche-delicious and accessible 21st century Ethiodubjazz. As if John Zorn put on Fela Kuti’s shoes and imbibed Mulatu Astatke’s whirls.
Piloted by saxophonist /flutist /composer Nathan Daems (Ragini Trio, Dijf Sanders, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra), this instrumental band aims for originality. Fellow musicians and ‘brothers down the road’ are Jon Birdsong (dEUS, Beck, Calexico) on cornet, Simon Segers (Absynthe Minded, De Beren Gieren, Stadt) at the drums, Filip Vandebril (Lady Linn, The Valerie Solanas, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra) at the bass and Wouter Haest (Los Callejeros, Voodoo Boogie) playing keys.
For many of us, the Ethiopian aspect once made known to the world by Mulatu Astatke will stand out. Still, Black Flower further adds oriental scales, Afrobeat à la Fela Kuti, jazz in a John Zorn way and varied western music traditions such as rock and dub. The resulting melting pot is undoubtedly inspired by Nathan’s distant travels and the multifariously colorful city of Brussels.
…Pretty legit if you ask me – LeFto, Studio Brussel
After their well-received debut album Abyssinia Afterlife (2014, W.E.R.F. / Zephyrus Records) that created an atmosphere of mythical figures and psychedelia, Black Flower now reflects on ancient and modern cultures. The album title Artifacts refers to centuries-old fragile objects or tools that empowered the development of human culture. The world today would look entirely different without those artifacts. The seemingly brittle suddenly becomes a powerful welding cornerstone. Add the musicians’ personal musical backgrounds and the result is an album with an ageless mystique. Artifacts is the synthesis of different cultures, of the past and present, and personal and collective memories. It is the soundtrack to modern reality, based on the elements that connect us.
Brilliant – Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 6
One of Belgium’s Best Bands of these past years (…) Black Flower does not simply play a tune, they always groove! – Kurt Overbergh, Ancienne Belgique
Uncomplicated originality, plenty of space for fantasy and an organic tone: those are the ingredients for Black Flower to lay claim to an age-old human ritual: dancing! Still, Black Flower also stands out in various other settings. Their audience at a jazz club will have felt exalted, their audience at a late-night show will not have resisted dancing. The band wields influence over their surroundings in a way only heart-and-soul musicians can. This mastery has repeatedly taken them to United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Germany.