Tyshawn Sorey & King Britt “Tyshawn/King”

Caught in the polyrhythmic force of Tyshawn/King, it’s like I’ve found a rip in spacetime or a wormhole to an alternative reality. Recorded over two days pre-lockdown, the five tracks on Tyshawn/King are an evolving conversation between two titans. Tyshawn Sorey and King Britt have manifested essential bodies of work on their own, but in joining forces there is something new to manifest. Tyshawn/King is mesmerizing, the sound of man and machine interlocking and constructing a world of inventive pathways.

Sorey and Britt settle into a relaxed yet propulsive groove that feels like a futuristic, original take of Herbie’s “Ostinato – Suite For Angela” on the riveting “Untitled Two.” Angular melodies bounce off each other, creating spirograph sonic shapes, intertwined with multilayered beats to the point an entire universe emerges from thin air. Tyshawn/King is an exploration, a trip, a declaration. Raw ingredients are transformed into aural incantations, summoning the direct focus of astral bodies and malnourished spirits alike.

There’s a determination throughout Tyshawn/King to push outward and ahead. Dense webs billow, “Untitled Three” levitating on a foundation of droning bass growl and popping arpeggios while Sorey’s effusive drumming snap out of the speakers. Dialed in on an extra-sensory level, Britt and Sorey absolutely fly. Emotive leads slither around the conjoined rhythms, a hydra breathing fire in every possible direction unafraid and unconcerned with whether there’s an ax waiting around the next corner. These improvisational pieces are simply alive in the moment.

Synths ripple and plunder from the opening moments of “Untitled One,” dropping listeners deep into a cosmic blast furnace where the grooves are endless and as tall as mountains, but the harmonic elements spit impenetrable fire. I am constantly in awe of how Tyshawn/King is simultaneously monumental and heady, but an infectious joy to actually listen to. These two artists can do just about anything and when they are this focused, this engaged, otherworld magic flows. Tyshawn/King is a dream.

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