‘Limbs / All Our Heroes Are Dead’: Introducing Vipertime’s latest single
Exhilarating and relentless, 20 months after their debut LP and in the midst of a global pandemic, Leeds four-piece Vipertime are back with their new double A-side ‘Limbs / All Our Heroes Are Dead’. Born out of the snake pit of Leeds house parties, Vipertime draws on the mesmeric forms and harmonies of 1970s ethio-jazz before refracting this influence through post-punk, 60s garage, free jazz and afrobeat culminating in the truly transcendent ‘Limbs / All Our Heroes Are Dead’.
After forming as a free improvising group in early 2018, out of the sweaty basements of Leeds house parties, the band recorded their first EP ‘All Our Heroes Are Dead’, which received radio play on BBC 3, Worldwide FM and BBC Introducing. Vipertime has played venues and festivals across the UK including Lancaster Jazz Festival, Smugglers Festival, Band On The Wall, Brudenell Social Club and Hootananny Brixton.
Debut album Shakedown and follow-up EP Live At Smugglers Festival lay out the band’s manifesto of heavy jazz, twisted post-punk and North African inspired grooves with impassioned saxophone rising out of a mass of seething bass and drums. With their new release all elements are amplified; grooves are deeper, agile improvisations reach further, riffs drive harder.
Vipertime blossomed as band leaders Ben Powling and Matías Reed immersed themselves in the sounds of the 70s Ethiopiques records, and ‘Limbs’ continues to draw from this well of inspiration. Nubian scales and a punk aggression merge in Matías Reed’s snarling bass, the roaring engine at the centre of the machine. Ben Powling’s muscular saxophone takes influence from the recently deceased Steve Grossman as well as Vipertime’s peers in the current South East London jazz revival. The double drums of Luke Reddin-Williams and Charlie Grimwood fan the flames with a ferocious combination of brute force and agility.
Transporting their listener to the pandemonium that is Leeds nightlife, ‘Limbs / All Our Heroes Are Dead’ provides an escape from the humdrum of everyday to the sweaty basements of Hyde Park, full of writhing bodies moving to the powerful beats.
B-side ‘All Our Heroes Are Dead’ is a meditation on the sound world of John Coltrane, Gato Barbiere, Sun Ra and a pantheon of musical demigods. Here Vipertime are laid bare. A spiralling saxophone and bass introduction moves to a solemn incantation before the energy relentlessly builds to the tune’s soaring pinnacle. Previously recorded on the band’s first EP of the same name, ‘All Our Heroes Are Dead’ has reached a new level of maturity and intensity as Vipertime strive for the same qualities of voodoo fury to tender introspection, expertly manipulating such diversity of influence and inspiration with irrepressible originality and flare.
With Ben Powling on tenor saxophone and flute, Matías Reed on bass and guitar, Luke Reddin-Williams on drums and percussion and Charlie Grimwood on drums, and recorded, mixed and mastered by Will Jackson at Eiger Studios, ‘Limbs / All Our Heroes Are Dead’ will be released on the 5th February on HPBC Records. You can listen to the new the new single here:
Vipertime will also be livestreaming an unmissable launch show from Brudenell Social Club on release day which you can access here: http://www.brudenellsocialclub.co.uk/whats-on/vipertime/