As if Sunfall wasn’t already marked out as potentially the best new festival in London this summer, the addition of a sterling new after party featuring Kamasi Washington will ensure that it is now. Hosted by Young Turks, the night at 350 person capacity Off The Cuff Bar will be one of the festival’s most intimate parties, as well as one of the most creative and innovative bookings. Providing the after hours to the day party at Brockwell Park on Saturday 9th July, the night is one of several to choose from when deciding where to spend the latter part of Sunfall’s inaugural event.
It’s just passed the mark of one year since Kamasi Washington released his seismic album The Epic on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, and it is quite rightly considered by many to be one of the best LPs of any genre to come out in 2015. Decadently soaked in the masterful saxophony that has earned Washington his meteoric ascent to the peak of modern jazz, The Epic employs elements of funk alongside bright pianos and brushed rhythms, in what amasses to a near 3 hour long exploration of Washington’s virtuosic ability as a composer and performer. If, by some cruel twist of fate, you’ve not heard it, you’ll surely be familiar with Washington’s work through his contribution to Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly or FlyLo’s You’re Dead!, two of the finest albums of the last few years. Needless to say, with such a profile there are few stars burning as brightly in modern jazz circles as Kamasi, and many would be falling over themselves at the chance to see him up close and personal in such a small venue.
Young Turks has been a hugely influential label in London and further afield for some time, with breakthrough albums for The xx, FKA Twigs and SBTRKT earmarking the label heads as some of the city’s foremost trendsetters, and their decision to enlist Mica Levi is another example of what makes the label so special. Levi - whose freaky experimental band Micachu and the Shapes are responsible for some of the most interesting, confusing and disarming sort-of-pop music that you’re likely to hear - has long commanded the respect of London’s artiest circles, composing for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the 2014 film Under The Skin, as well as holding an artist residency at the Southbank Centre in 2010. Also a respected DJ of distinctively leftfield tastes, Mica has teamed up with Kwes for two mixtapes and is known for playing the sort of trippy, glitchy electronics that most DJs aren’t brave enough to touch.
Next up, Moses Boyd represents a shift back to the artful live set, and will show off the unbelievable technique that has made him one of the most revered young jazz musicians in the country. Assisted with a similarly gifted group of brass players and guitarists, the precocious drummer has been heralded by Gilles Peterson, Floating Points and Four Tet as one of London’s most exciting talents, with an effortless gift for impossibly precise and technically magnificent percussion lifting him well above the chasing pack.
Bookings like these will make sure that Sunfall’s entrance this summer is an eye-catching one, and the OTC after party is just one of eight, with venues such as Corsica, Fire and Effra Social among those hosting XL lineups for the evening’s entertainment. The festival itself will host the likes of Ben Klock, Hunee, Jamie xx, Jeremy Underground, Joy Orbison, Mister Saturday Night, Moodymann, Omar S, Ryan Elliott, Shackleton, and Yussef Kamaal Trio, before many of the artists will go on to one after party or another, whether it be Glasgow to Detroit at Phonox, Derrick Carter and friends at Brixton Electric, or any of the other huge lineups that Sunfall have lined up. Tickets to the festival include the day party and an after party of your choice, but with such quality on offer, you’ll have to act fast to get secure yours.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Kamasi Washington