Spaceheads is a two piece band consisting of trumpeter Andy Diagram (who was in James as well as Dave Thomas and Two Pale Boys, and numerous other projects) and jazz drummer Richard Harrison.
I first encountered them randomly, as one act on the bill at the Merge Records 10th Anniversary Festival in Chapel Hill, NC. I seem to remember that they went on early, so the club wasn't too packed. Diagram had a trumpet hooked up to a little electronic thing and a ton of pedals. Harrison played jazz drumming. And ... well, that's it. This is jazzy funky spacey weird music.
I really enjoyed their performance and have tracked down their releases. I think this stuff is always interesting. The two of them really know their instruments, and they push boundaries. However, i know that some people might get annoyed at this stuff. So be forewarned. It is jazz, so if your tolerance for that art form is low, you will want to avoid it. I should also warn readers that this is electronic jazz-- Harrison and Diagram use plenty of effects and electronic manipulation. So if you are a jazz purist, you might not enjoy it.
Okay, that out of the way, let's examine the four songs here.
The EP starts with the title track, which features strange little thwacking noises, a rolling drum riff, and generous use of the wah-wah pedal. This is funky and dancey in a silly happy way. If there is a video of this, it needs to involve Muppets dancing around -- it is that kind of a tune.
Atomic Clock is a little angrier. Diagram's trumpet is overdriven and angry sounding, over a nice tapped beat and a rumbling bass hit. Very nice.
I think the next track, Miles to Go is my favorite here. Diagram plays his trumpet with only a hint of echo, and Harrison backs that up with a frantic drum beat, almost drum-n-bass here. The song really swings along, those crazy beats and Diagram channeling Miles. This takes what most people think of as jazz and wraps it in a British electronica framework.
And finally we have, North of the Border, which starts off slow and spacey, layers of tones floating over a shaken beat. About halfway through, it kicks the tempo up a bit with Harrison adding in a rolling beat. Diagram's trumpet is layered to make him sound like a big brass band, which is really nice. A good end to the EP.
The whole EP is only 14 minutes long, exactly. But that is all the time that Spaceheads need. Overall, i find this pretty enjoyable.