Boomkat Product Review:
Necessary reissue of The Pyramids’ 3rd and final album of their majestic mid ‘70s trio, a soaring, rhythmic psychedelic feast of spiritual Afro-jazz weft of myriad percussion and heavenly wind
The culmination of a peerless run, ‘Birth / Speed / Merging’ (1976) unleashes ancestral energies developed and distilled over the course of two previous albums and their trips to Africa. It speak sot rising consciousness of identity for Afro-American artists in the post-civil rights movement period that begat its creation, taking the lessons of John Coltrane’s modal music on a path adjunct Alice Coltrane’s spiritual jazz, with a deep focus on endless rhtyhmelody and their absorption of African instrumental traditions rendered lusher, denser than previous sides by the use of studio effects and overdubbing.
The hunched drums and chanting mantric procession of prelude ‘Aomawa (Part 1)’ sets up a pan-Afro tour in four movements, developing from the lushly atmospheric soundscaping of its title part to astonishing ‘Reaffirmation’ section pairing huge choral arrangements with ecstatic motorik drive and spooked out communal jam scenes, then into the swingeing ‘Jamaican Carnival’, and uniquely humid riches of ‘Black Man and Woman of the Nile’ where the studio-as-instrument tekkerz really come into play and sucks us in head first.