Kaidi Tatham ‘An Insight To All Minds’ 2LP (First Word) 5/5

So, as Elon Musk invests in going to Mars… The cosmos sends us a genius from the outer galaxies to the music lovers of the earth. In the guise of a musical traveller of exceptional talent.

Kaidi Tatham!

Having cut his teeth in the early ’90s with Hip Hop/Jazz outfit The Herbaliser, Neon Phusion, the mighty Bugs In The Attic, DKD – with another musical luminaire Daz I KUE, British music’s genius, I G Culture, and Dego of 4 Hero fame, with whom he has unleashed some stunning 12s on the 2000 Black label, which demand is always anticipated by music lovers and DJs.
An extraordinarily gifted multi-instrumentalist known for his take on jazz, hip hop, soul, funk and of course broken beat, having sessioned with Amy Winehouse, Soul II Soul, Slum Village etc. Kaidi Tatham is a highly respected musician, being compared to the likes of Herbie Hancock by tastemakers such as Benji B.

Here, ‘An Insight To All Minds’, his 3rd solo studio album after ‘In Search for Hope’ and ‘In a World Before You’, comes further excitement and without doubt, one of the most anticipated albums to come out of the UK in recent years from the jazz dance and soul music scene.

Laced with elements of George Duke, Lonnie Liston, Jeff Lorber and the ilk, however, all Kaidi Tatham without imitation but rather standing shoulder to shoulder with such Legends – a kind of Raphael to Leonardo da Vinci, learning from them and moving forward whilst inventing his own style.

And here it is evident this 15-track masterpiece from the infinity of space and mind from beginning to end!

Intermingled with beautifully crafted interludes, the album kicks off with a thunderous intro literally and then straight into some uber slick beats on ‘Try N Follow’ – one for the Duke fans albeit short. ‘Intergalactic Relations’ is exactly that. An astral journey into 80’s future electro-funk, with a twist… just MWAH! ‘Carry’, a stunning slab of jazz-funk fusion, reminiscent of Chick Corea and Jeff Lorber Fusion…but not, will see much support from the jazz heads and dancers. ‘Chungo’ feat. son of DJ Jazzy jeff, Uhmeer, a hypnotic and beautifully crafted slab of soulful hip hop.

The Title track is a true work of art and joy, like I’ve already mentioned, there are so many reminders of different artist here, that grabs your imagination and certainly reminds me of so many legendary musicians and pieces of music, but as soon as you nearly have that ‘aha, I know where I know that from moment’, Kaidi slips in and out from what you recognise and navigates you to new and unknown territory. ‘DSXSWC’ is as raw and fresh as it is intense, yet melodic, which definitely warrants listening for its intricacies and musical flex. And then, of course, one of my favourites ‘Rodney’ – that’s a tall ask as I cannot find fault in this album – a crepuscular dancefloor cut of epic broken beat proportions which glides in and out of heavy slick beats with classic Kaidi keyboard gymnastics. ‘Rain’ is another great piece gliding vibes, weaving rhythms through an almost melancholy groove cooked to perfection. ‘Could It Be’ interestingly kicks off with elements of mystery and of a 60’s drama before it flips and builds into a fusion dream, echoing everything from Weather Report to disco-funk band Kleeer and back to the future. Intentionally or not.

It’s Kaidi’s kaleidoscopic vision at the helm of this anamorphic audio soundscape for those who know and are adventurous enough to get on board his space ship of heavenly delights as with another killer ‘Tek Care’. This is not only one of the best albums of the year, it is, without doubt, an album that is a classic in its own right, standing alongside comfortably must-have LPs of the past. But do not be fooled, it’s not a rehashing of jazz, disco, funk and soul of the past, but rather a brand new take on all the above and re-imagining of the said music and then some. In my humble opinion, Kaidi Tatham is one of the most exciting players representing the very best of British music, innovating, experimenting and above all captivating. It’s above all passionate and sincere without bells and whistles.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get to go astral travelling and get to see all the heavenly delights, but Kaidi Tatham has a telescope of incredible resolution, and has given our ears and minds to have a little peek through it and see what he sees.

It’s called ‘An Insight To All Minds’.

Bruce Q