The Voyage Never Ends... - Captain Supernova (Rapid Review)
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Album Rating: 3.5/5
Favourite Track: ‘Voyage to Nowhere’ (track 4)
Cosmonaut, keyboardist and composer Captain Supernova has released his latest record The Voyage Never Ends… via Ropeadope Records. This is the artist’s Ropeadope debut and the third project released by the fictional astronaut, the pseudonym of musician Eric Borders, which follows on from the 2016 EP The Doors of Perception. Maintaining his cosmic cured sound, Captain Supernova has once again merged elements of celestial funk, neo-soul and jazz to create a fun and funky record.
LA-born keyboardist Eric Borders has produced for a wide range of genres and artists, as well as having shared the stages with artists such as Kamasi Washington, José James, Jimmy Cliff and The Internet. Before the creation of Captain Supernova, Borders was the founder of the hip-hop and funk group Balance and the Traveling Sounds, known for their 2010 Departure EP. This broad experience could help to explain Captain Supernova’s vast array of friends which feature on The Voyage Never Ends, with the vocals of Natalie Oliveri, Made By Crooks and Angela Muhwezi, as well as the work of Josh Johnson (on flute), Ian Roller (on sax and flute) and the illustrious piano playing of Mark de Clive-Lowe (whose recent projects Heritage, Heritage II, First Meeting and Sonkei have recently been reviewed by Ben).
Reminiscent of groups like Jamiroquai, The Voyage Never Ends sees Captain Supernova (C.SN) resourcefully use synths, productions and his guests across this 10-track work. ‘Aquarian Dreams’ (track 2) features the guest vocals of Chicago-born singer Natalie Oliveri, her soulful vocals matching well with C.SN’s scintillating synths, the pulsating vibraphone playing of Joe Marton and the beautiful guitar noodling of Conrad Bauer. The single ‘Voyage to Nowhere’ (track 4) is one of the best moments of the record and features Ropeadope colleague and collaborator Mark de-Clive Lowe on piano. The funky and psychedelic song opens with the heavy beat of Julian Hogan’s drums, before Bauer’s guitar provides a 70s-styled riff for C.SN’s synths and the guest flute of Josh Johnson to float over, all building to a rhythmically driven extended piano solo by Mark de Clive-Lowe. The vocoder of ‘Endless Maze’ (track 5), ‘Closer to You’ (track 8) and ‘It Begins’ evokes memories of Robert Glasper’s output over the past few years, whilst tunes like ‘Reveal Within’ (track 6) feel like they are space licked tributes to funk-filled 1970s soundtracks.
The Voyage Never Ends is an entertaining album, displaying Captain Supernova’s sense of vitality and freedom. Borders has produced an entertaining and accessible work which will appeal to a broad church of music heads.
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