Calabashed come from London’s Total Refreshment Centre and debut EP ‘Behold A Black Wave’ – poetically inspired by Jazzman John Clarke, Mos Def and Kurt Cobain – is out on Purple City

Calabashed (from left to right) – Raimund Wong, Alabaster Deplume, Maria Osuchowska, Joshua Idehen, James Howard and Donna Thompson – photographed by Barry McDonald

Calabashed have released their first EP – Behold A Black Wave – capturing their numerous influences and musical tastes on a highly original debut. The band met through the London hub, Total Refreshment Centre, uniting their extensive musical talents into Calabashed.

The band have unified over a love of jazz, rock, hip-hop and numerous other influences for this free-flowing and fertile first relase. Hopefully more is coming very soon.

“The stories and inspirations behind the songs are often as varied as the music that smoothly glides between engulfing soundscapes and infectious grooves,” the label expains. “Idehen witnessed fights in the street over Brexit, knife crime stories seeped their way in, he borrowed an inspiration technique from Kurt Cobain, which involves listening to artists on repeat, and applied that to Mos Def. And elsewhere, there’s a nod to London jazz poet, Jazzman John Clarke. All of which results in an album that is as multifaceted as it is unpredictable.”

The core duo of Joshua Idehen (vocals) and Alabaster Deplume (sax) formed the band, enlisting other artists connected to the TRC musical family at the key London venue – Maria Osuchowska (harp), Donna Thompson (drums and percussion), James Howard (guitar), Raimund Wong (analogue tape and FX) and their producer Danalogue (Comet Is Coming).

“Alabaster and I were introduced to each other by Stephen Bass of Moshi Moshi,” recalls Joshua. “Gus asked me to perform at his night Peached. I watched him perform Did You Ever Hear About The Mau Mau – such a stunning song – and I asked if he’d be up for collaborating.”

The ever-evolving jazz and creative scene in London continues to be one global epicentre for a range of talent emerging during the last decade (and into the new).

The resulting work exists loosely in the jazz world and “cosmic soundscapes”, hip-hop and “general esoteric explorations that place it out of easy categorisation,” the band add. Lyrically, Idehen based a lot of ideas off Aesop’s Fables, providing inspired and sprawling spoken-word, backed by a range of musical ideas and boundary pushing composition.

Find out more and get the music at their Bandcamp.

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