“From another world, from another place/ I’m just so glad that I’ve found you, spin me out to space.”
‘Little Star’ – Light Years
Space: the final frontier. Four years after Kora launched its worlds-colliding debut album, masterfully connecting the dots between funk, rock, reggae, metal, hip hop and electronic rhythms, this five-strong collective of fearless sonic explorers returns with sights fixed on the stars, seeking out new soundscapes and frequencies to boldly go where no band has gone before.
On Light Years, brothers Laughton, Francis, Stuart and Brad Kora and brother-in-arms Dan McGruer have mapped a new constellation of future-shocked funk, soul and r’n’b they’ve dubbed ‘alien funk’, and the name points to the galactic transformation in sound the band has undergone.
“Alien funk is anything out of this world electronically,” Laughton reflects. “When we began recording the album we started putting pictures of planets and galaxies on the walls of the studio as visual cues for what we wanted to explore. The whole thing with space is that it represents the unknown, and that’s how we feel about our music – we don’t know where we’re going, but when we find what we like we stay with it.”
Recorded in Dan’s inner-city Auckland studio, Light Years steps into the unknown on a bass odyssey four years in the making, eschewing guitars in favour of a high-tech arsenal of synthesisers, live and sampled drums, plus the otherworldly four-part harmonies of the brothers Kora. This marriage of live and programmed instrumentation powers the unstoppable groove that continues to drive Kora, providing the sci-fi soundtrack to a collective fascination with video game culture, cosmology and space exploration.
“When you think about a galaxy, what kind of sound do you imagine?” Dan asks. “I think about one that’s limitless, with epic hooks, twinkling synths and huge arpeggiated chords. There were no rules we needed to follow to make this album. We just went about capturing our personalities and all our different influences, from electronic dance music, to electro-funk, to classic ’80s pop songwriting, and filtering them into a sound that’s undeniably Kora. That’s just the sort of band we are, taking things into out of space and onto the next level.”
Leave behind all earthbound notions you have about this band. On 26th October 2012, Kora lift off with Light Years, 11 box-fresh tracks that explore unchartered terrain unconstrained by gravity or physical law. Space is the place.