Busty and the Bass met during their first week as students in the jazz programme at Montreal’s McGill University back in 2011. I first heard the octet when they released their 2020 album called Eddie, accompanied by the distinctively warm, raspy vocals of Macy Gray. And now there’s a new release – an ‘intergalactic’ EP, The ET Suite via Arts & Crafts, that makes its debut on March 17.

The ET Suite is a short but fascinating and fun meld of soulful electro funk and I’ve played it repeatedly for the past week, each play reveals something new and consolidates the intricacy of this concept EP. Split across five tracks, The ET Suite is a space odyssey that takes you through interpretations of the original song. Everything from the verse to the instrumentation takes on new forms employing funk-laden rhythm on lead single Suite Pt II (featuring Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire)’, delicate African soul on Suite Pt III (feat. Pierre Kwenders) and free jazz on Suite Pt IV.

The band meld a vintage funk feel with modern electro elements; retro meets space age – and they’re having a party. With their falsetto vocals, the London-based collective Jungle come to mind, especially on Part 1. ET Part III: Jupiter brings in the brass section plus some down tempo vocals, percussive drumming and sexy bass, it’s just a shame that it’s so short at only 1.09. This number shifts seamlessly into the beautifully soulful Part IV.

There’s even a game coming out soon where players can guide a UFO around space to find band members. Once all are found, they’ll play the EP to you on the moon. You can play it here

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