Announcing: Heliocentrics – From The Deep

Shipping at our webstore at Rappcats

Following Last Transmission, their collaboration with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs – Quatermass Studios – with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals first heard on Gaslamp Killer’s HELIO X GLK EP, tracks Rolling Stone describes as “sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.”

As hinted in one of Egon’s recent Instagram posts, the Heliocentrics are finishing up work on a new album. Watch this space for updates in the coming months.

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NPR’s All Things Considered On “The Last Transmission: “welcome, and trippy…”

NPR’s “All Things Considered” interviewed Melvin Van Peebles and the Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto about their The Last Transmission album. You can stream the story below.

An excerpt:

“The Heliocentrics supported Van Peebles’ distant love story with other-worldly sounds — a lot of oscillation and static, like distant radio signals that just don’t want to cooperate.

‘That’s basically our idea of what it must seem like by the time it reaches another intelligence far off into space somewhere,” Catto says. ‘What would it be like? This message? It’d start off and then slowly dissipate, dissipate until it’s light years away. And you just get all this radio chatter.'”

The Last Transmission is available for purchase at our webstore at

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Out Now: Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles “The Last Transmission”

In and shipping now via Rappcats and at all good record stores worldwide! 2 CD – Instrumentals included on bonus second disc; vocal LP; ltd. deluxe LP edition contains instrumentals on bonus disc. Download a free mp3 now!

Buy NOW at our webstore at!

It’s been a while – six years in fact! – since we first mentioned the collaboration between maverick filmmaker/songwriter/author and all around baadasssss Melvin Van Peebles and Malcolm Catto and Jake Ferguson’s Heliocentrics ensemble. We’re happy to finally set a street date and offer a sample of the madness to come.

The Last Transmission is an interplanetary space/love odyssey told in twelve chapters; it comes nearly ten years after Van Peebles’ appearance as the third member of Quasimoto on Stones Throw Records’ 2005 release The Further Adventure of Lord Quas. For the Heliocentrics, The Last Transmission represents their third Now-Again album, following Out There in 2007 and 13 Degrees of Reality in 2013.

Van Peebles makes for the Heliocentrics’ ideal foil: he did graduate work in astronomy in Holland in the 1950s and maintains an avid interest in cosmology. The Heliocentrics, as their name conveys, draw inspiration from both the philosophic leanings of the likes of Stephen Hawkings and interstellar mysteries, like those surrounding the Malian Dogon tribe’s knowledge of the Sirius B star hundreds of years before it was discovered. Their music is as indebted to Sun Ra’s interstellar jazz as it is inspired by psychedelia’s spiritual expanse.

The Last Transmission, presented as a vocal album and an expanded instrumental selection on a bonus disc, can be taken as both the band’s interpretation of Van Peebles’ poem and a musical voyage inspired by Van Peebles’ vivid imagery. The band considers it their defining work, the result of more than a decade of playing and recording together. They’ve found a voice as a band, one that meshes with Van Peebles,’ as he weaves an intergalactic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

In between producer/drummer Malcolm Catto’s thunderous syncopation and producer/bassist Jake Ferguson’s bellowing bass lines, amidst the analog electronics and atmospheric interference naturally accorded by their organic analogue process, Van Peebles’ voice floats in and out, spectral in its tone, complete in its conviction in the unfathomable sense that life’s eruption in the cosmic expanse made, and in love’s ability to transform and transcend death.

Download a free MP3 from the album – the instrumental version of “The Cavern” – below.

Download: “Chapter 5 – The Cavern (Instrumental)”

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From The Vaults – Photos: Melvin Van Peebles Records For Heliocentrics

This post was first put up in July of 2012.

It’s a bit embarrassing for us to admit that it’s been nearly four years since we announced the collaborative Heliocentrics/Melvin Van Peebles collaboration that was supposed to appear on the band’s Sirius B EP.

And, now, the band has just completed their latest album – which we’ll release later this fall (more on that later). And nary a Van Peebles gasp, growl or grunt in sight.

Well, good news – last week, in the middle of one of the worst heat waves that New York has seen in recent memory, a pajama-clad (and still ripped) Van Peebles entered ex-Sun Ra bandmember Spaceman’s Harlem-based studio and recorded his last takes on the rambling poem he’s entitled “Methane Momma.” Those files are on the way to Malcolm Catto and co. at the moment – and we promise (seriously this time) that they will figure in to the Heliocentrics next album, for which we’re projecting an early 2013 release.


Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles – The Last Transmission

Buy it here.


Chapter 1 – Prologue 3.32
Chapter 2 – Big Bang Reincarnation 3.03
Chapter 3 – Searching For Signs Of Life 1.40
Chapter 4 – Blue Mist 1.53
Chapter 5 –The Cavern 3.43
Chapter 6 – Transformation (Pt. 1) 3.10
Chapter 7 – Transformation (Pt. 2) 2.12
Chapter 8 – Telepathic Routine 3.11
Chapter 9 – The Dance 3.59
Chapter 10 – Trust The Cosmos (Believe In The Universe) 3.47
Chatper 11 – Infinite List (Toss The Dice) 4.09
Chapter 12 – Epilogue 2.09

Music recorded, mixed and produced at Quatermass Sound Lab, London by Malcolm Catto and Jake Ferguson. Vocals recorded and mixed by Spaceman Patterson at Spaceman’s Studio, New York.
Executive Produced by Eothen Alapatt.
Music composed, arranged and performed by The Heliocentrics;
Lyrics composed and performed by Melvin Van Peebles.
Mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering, London. Art direction by Errol Richardson. Photos by Eric Coleman.

All music arranged and performed by The Heliocentrics:
Malcolm Catto – Drums, Marimbula, Percussion, Additional Guitar and Piano
Jake Ferguson – Bass, Begena, Additional Guitar, Vibes and Piano
Jack Yglesias – Percussion, Kalimba, Flutes, Homemade Instruments and String Arrangements on “Collateral Damage”
Ade Owusu – Guitar, Thai Guitar, Effected Santur, Feedback and Koto
Ollie Parfitt – Piano, Keys and Electronic Effects
Tom Hodges – Electronica
Mike Burnham – Ring Mod Guitar on “Wrecking Ball”
Shabaka Hutchings – Bass Clarinet
Danny Keane – Cello
Raven – Violin

W/ Melvin Van Peebles – Vocals.

CD, LP, Deluxe LP and Digital. 2014. NA 5118 (Deluxe LP NA 4118).