"one party record that you
put on to leave on"
(Spotlight Review, Billboard Magazine)
Personnel: Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio, Jeff Raines, Rich Vogel, Theryl "House Man" DeClouet
THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM NEW ORLEANS FUNK BAND GALACTIC.Galactic staked their place in the rich tradition of Crescent City funk with the release of their long-awaited debut album. Recorded at New Orleans' Sea Saint Studios (where the smell of legendary acts like the Meters, Chocolate Milk, etc. was definitely still in the air) the project was a collaboration between the band and San Francisco producer/engineer Dan Prothero (shown here at the controls).
The end result immediately earned glowing praise from Billboard (where it received a Spotlight Review), LA Weekly (Pick Of The Week), JazzTimes, High Times, and from independent press all over the country. More importantly, it is a document of one of New Orleans' greatest musical success stories in its earliest stage.
Although this record is no longer on the Fog City label (having been licensed to a major label), we are proud to claim it as our first release and to have otherwise served as a launchpad for a major label, world-touring career.
Another aspect of this release we are proud of is its place in history as one of the very first Enhanced CDs. Through the use of cutting-edge (at the time) technology, the disc contained almost an hour of music plus what remains one of the most extensive multimedia on any Enhanced CD. The Coolin' Off CD can be placed in the CD-ROM drive of most computers for an experience that includes bonus tracks (including live performances), videos, interviews, a special electronic edition of On The One magazine (with articles on clubs and restaurants around the Crescent City - from a musician's point of view) and an incredible portfolio by illustrator Tom Lanaux, inspired by the musical heritage of his native New Orleans.
NOTE: The Coolin' Off album is now available on BMG/Volcano Records. All re-releases of the Coolin' Off CD were not Enhanced CDs; the multimedia features described here were only included on the initial Fog City release, which is now out of print. Galactic's second album Crazyhorse Mongoose (also produced by Fog City label head Dan Prothero) is also out now on BMG/Volcano (you can also order a copy through amazon). You may also enjoy the wildly successful debut solo album from Galactic drummer Stanton Moore.
‘‘ Ascendant stars of the eclectic, Cafe Brasil-based music scene on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, Galactic is a sensuous, swampy, and plenty-tight source of pan-cultural acid jazz like only the Crescent City could supply. As instructed at the start of this rhythmic tour de funk, 'Welcome to New Orleans... and if you're from out of town -- heh, heh -- welcome to the Third World!' A cool, young quintet consisting of bassist Robert Mercurio, drummer Stanton Moore, guitarist Jeff Raines, keyboardist Rich Vogel, and featured vocalist Theryl deClouet, Galactic takes the Big Easy's groove and dance music beyond the seminal sissy strut, merging its gritty, street-band sway with sultry Carribbean instincts, post-Stax Southern syncopation, and an earthy sense of latitude unique to Frenchmen Street. Something's Wrong With This Picture, heady On The One, street-level Mystery Tube, and three-part Everybody Wants Some are some highlights, but Coolin' Off is one party record (plus enhanced programming) that you put on to leave on.
- Timothy White, Editor In Chief, Billboard Magazine
Pick Of The Week
- New Orleans can proudly boast of being home to most of this nation's oldest musical traditions,
but fresh sounds from the Crescent City have been somewhat underwhelming.
While underexposed talents like N.O. genius Sunpie and blues growler Walter
'Wolfman' Washington ceaselessly labor in the uptown joints and French Quarter boites,
national names like Harry Connick Jr. (making a jerk out of himself with ersatz funk
albums) and Aaron Neville (selling his self-parody falsetto to all comers)
sully and weaken that rich heritage more than anything else.
Galactic, a wet-behind-the-ears
group of youngsters, have erupted with a deep-grooving brand of muscular, economic,
syncopated soul-funk that hits the ear with almost bewildering impact.
Well aware of their town's daunting precedents (by which they'll invariably be judged),
Galactic manages to deliver the heat, rhythm and style with good grace,
a twist of historic influence,
and that most essential of elements: the try-for-further sense of exploration and
adventure that has always characterized New Orleans' best bands. And what better setting
than the funkenized, down-home elegance of this room? Almost too good to be true.
- Jonny Whiteside, L.A. Weekly
Already hometown stars in a city that eats funk for breakfast,
this horn-augmented New Orleans quintet is the tightest and tastiest
Louisiana groove band to emerge since the Meters.
Less noodly but no less exploratory than Medeski Martin and Wood,
Galactic is the fat, fulsome spawn of acid jazz, the East Coast
jam-band scene, and New Orleans street music.
- The Village Voice
Galactic, being from New Orleans, is up to its eyeballs in groove sauce 24-7.
So when these youngsters (Robert Mercurio on bass, Stanton Moore on drums,
Jeff Raines on guitar and Rich Vogel on keyboards)
lock into a beat, you know they're not faking it.
Coolin' Off contains bows to their Crescent City forefathers
(like the Meters-influenced 'Funky Bird') and other languid, strolling
grooves. Vogel carries most of the solo space -- check 'On The One' --
and some compositions are fleshed out by some welcome guest stars.
The disc-opening 'Go Go' features Erik Jakobson on trumpet,
Mark Mullins on trombone and Eric Traub on sax. Vocalist Theryl deClouet
adds some weatherbeaten soul to the
Stax-influenced neck-snapper 'Something's Wrong With This Picture'.
(FOUR STAR RATING)
- Tony Greene, JazzTimes
"Best Funk Band"
"Best Funk/Soul/R&B Album by a Louisiana artist"
"Best Up And Coming Funk Band"
- Offbeat Magazine
A new-N'Awlins funk band that will surely
provide the stuff necessary for shaking that ass
- Time Out NY
Not your standard, watery alterno-funk offering,
this record is an infectious blend of voo-doo swamp jazz,
funky Meters-style soul,
and some killer "on the one" grooves that make your
jimmy leg shake whether you want it to or not.
- Valley Record Distributors
- Pulse! Magazine
an infectious mix of acid jazz and swamp soul that never fails to get our joints jumping. A massive horn section mixed with a solid rhythm crew make for some seriously danceable grooves.
Nice design, some rehearsal video clips, and (above all) the music put this CD into heavy rotation at the Site.
- The Site, MSNBC
Galactic is fast becoming the preeminent 'must see' band
on the circuit today... serious swamp funk
with a shot of soul that is sure to make you shiver.
- Tom Speed, An Honest Tune
poised to break through to stardom
- Josh Werner, The Technique
A perfect example of the new jazz is Galactic, a group of New Orleans
players that recently released its debut CD, "Coolin' Off." The set of
mostly instrumentals takes off from the famously funky New Orleans'
instrumental group The Meters, gets as soulfully sophisticated as '70s Stevie Wonder
and features soloists that hold your interest without loosing the groove.
The keyboardist Rich Vogel burns up every note.
- Roberta Penn, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
(read the entire feature article by clicking here)
A contemporary hybrid of cool, hip-hop attitude, complex, jazzy phrasing,
and earthy, low-down swamp funk. Coolin' Off is a document of Galactic's even,
on the so-called 'acid jazz' genre, sure to entrance fans of
such like-mided groups as Groove Collective, Medeski Martin Wood,
and the Greyboy Allstars.
- Pete Gershon, The Springfield Advocate
(read the entire feature article by clicking here)
Galactic drops '70s funk chops spiced with infectious Meters-like grooves.
File this sonic soul food under funk/acid jazz, tighten up,
and bob your head! '97 is Galactic's year, so if you're up for the down stroke,
be sure to check these guys out.
- Tribe Magazine
(read the entire feature article by clicking here)
With a thick electric piano,
fatback drumming, and a slinky guitar,
the band ends up in a place that Medeski, Martin, and Wood fans
will find real comfortable.
The difference is that where that outfit has its roots solidly in pure jazz,
Galactic looks more to its hometown rhythm and blues tradition
as forged by the Meters and Alan Toussaint.
Think of it as getting 'in there' as opposed to the more spacey
approach of Medeski's 'out there' organ vamping.
- Brett Sokol, The Cleveland Free Times
Fog City has released its first CD, Coolin’ Off from Galactic
- jazzy funk for the mind and butt
- CK Smart, Straight No Chaser
New Orleans is synonymous with funk - the beat that drives the brass bands in
second-line parades and fills the venerable clubs steeped in the spirits of
musicians past. From that legacy comes Galactic, a band that, despite their
20-something ages, is more closely connected to the deep funk of the
late '50s and early '60s than any of their contemporaries. Fans and recent converts
to Galactic's funky jams discover that regardless of what they expected -
throw-back R&B or acid jazz - the band plays an irresistable groove.
- Orlando Weekly
I just wanted to let you know that i saw your band at
the [Green] Circle and they were sick!
- DJ Greyboy (San Diego)
to be honest... we're amazed! Man, this is a brilliant peace of work!
- Groove Attack (Germany)
Funk bands exist in every college town in
the country, but in New Orleans, the funkiest city in the world, Galactic
are at the top of the next-generation funk bands. The band achieved this
position by staying close to what funk is all about without regurgitating
the same grooves as James Brown, Booker T. and the MGs, the Meters, and
Sly and the Family Stone. As the band's performances, including a recent
slot at the Jazz Fest, and debut record Coolin' Off display, the best
funk is sparse and wide-open: take a steady rhythm section groove, add
layers of organ, Clavinet, Wurlitzer, guitar, horns, and your occasional
vocals, and you've tapped in to a legacy that started back in the late-'50s
and has kept funk fans sliding and shaking ever since.
- Alex Oliver, Offbeat Magazine
(read the entire article by clicking here)
" It was nice to hear some good live music - with all the fusion going on these days it's hard to hear just a good swingin' jazzy band possessing 'cool'. Makes me want to land in New Orleans soon! - Jeannie Hopper, Liquid Sound Lounge, WBAI New York
New Orleans musicians have a habit of taking what everyone else is doing
and making it rip and bump in ways previously thought impossible.
That's what this excellent 'new jazz' group is up to.
Propelled by Rich Vogel on keys (whose Hammond work might make you think James Taylor,
but don't: Rich is better), this group gets funky without being pushy,
gets jazzy without being snooty,
gets groovy without being goofy,
and is guaranteed to get right in your head.
The harmonic ideas are right on.
And Theryl deClouet's guest vocals are wonderful.
One of those groups and albums that makes you happy you
checked into this new jazz vibe.
- Step Jazz Magazine (San Diego)
New Orleans funk from the Third World.
As thick as the swamps from whence it has emerged,
their groove soaks clear through your socks.
Next thing you know, you're up to your chest in arm-raising, head-bobbing
smooth vibage. You lose if you missed them as they slid through
Family Funktion at Alvin's on their straight shot to super stardom.
Eat up, folks... we may not see spanky jazz nourishment like this again for a while.
Bonus: their non-major-label CD is also an interactive Mac/PC CD-ROM featuring sights
and sounds of the band and a steamy, rich tour of the Crescent City.
- The Orbit (Michigan)
(one of the top ten local releases for the year)
- Kevin Aucoin, manager at Tower Records/Video (New Orleans)
(one of the top ten performances of the year)
- Louisiana Jukebox (Cox Channel 10, Louisiana)
Galactic's debut album certainly has restorative properties.
Its compelling grooves, soulful keyboards, syncopated guitar and spicy horns
are a fine antidote for a rough day at work.
- Orlando Sentinel
sh*t is tight!
- Dat Fool Zen, Solesides Records
Although the acid-jazz scene has effectively diversified into a
dozen different musical directions, it's still refreshing to hear a straight ahead
jazz/funk band that really know their stuff. A major reason that this album sounds
so fresh has got to be due to the studio engineering abilities of
(who also runs the
Fog City label
and is perhaps best known for his work with San
Francisco label Ubiquity). It sounds like the band have just gone into the studio and
layed down the tracks in a few takes, giving the sound a much needed raw edge
and vitality. Yes, in a lot of ways this is a Retro
affair but with songs such as 'Something's Wrong With This Picture' and 'Stax Jam'
, who's to argue with their chosen path?
- Phil Meadley, Fly! Zine (UK)
(read the entire article by clicking here)
The Austin show was incredible. I work at Stubb's and we really
enjoyed having everyone in Galactic there. We were all really impressed
with the music. It's not often the whole staff sticks around to hear a
show after work, but we were all listening. We're counting the minutes
until they come back and play again.
- Christina Landsborough at Stubb's (Austin, TX)
(the club with the best bands - and the best Bar-B-Que) in Texas!
Several local bands maintain sites on the World Wide Web, but Galactic's
debut is the first "enhanced" CD - one containing
video images, interviews
and bonus live cuts that can be accessed by a CD-ROM-equipped computer -
from a Louisiana act. If it weren't for that high-tech feature, Coolin' Off
could be passed off as a product of the early '70s. I mean that as a compliment -
the slinkiest funk was cut 20-plus years ago, and Galactic succeeds in
capturing that spirit. For a young funk band in New Orleans, borrowing
from the Meters is almost requisite, and Galactic obliges in "Go-Go"
(which builds from a raw, acid-jazz-style beat to include a looping bass figure
and a wah-wah guitar, then an organ) and 'Funky Bird', which are informed with obvious
nods to the Meters catalog. Veteran local singer Theryl deClouet guests on two tracks,
lending urban grit and the sort of social justice sentiments that also harken back to
the early '70s ('give me my acres and give me my mule' he demands on 'Something's
Wrong With This Picture'). Galactic maintains a groove throughout, punched up by
a horn section in places. They don't need to go anywhere - during 'On The One' they hang
out in a satisfying little pocket. Such a young band's ability to create
such spare, new-yet-vintage funk on its first outing bodes well for the
perpetuation of the music.
- New Orleans Times-Picayune
Last night, after playing trombone with Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe
for a 5 hour set of frightful funk at the Dream Palace here in New
Orleans, I ran uptown to Benny's to catch Galactic's set. They were
sLAMmin'! I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in for a couple
songs and I gotta say, the ride from the inside is phat, phat,
fffaaattt. Great band . . . if you haven't heard their CD on Fog City
Records, pick it up. If you get a chance to see them live . . . don't
- Mark McGrain
(Trombone with PLUNGE - Accurate/Rounder Records)
Ever wonder how oil magnates feel when they discover a real gusher? That sense of
exhiliration has to approximate the current mental status of the young guys from Galactic,
who have had the good sense and the good fortune to mine the deep, rich
(and, dare I say, oily) New Orleans funk tradition for a debut album.
No band could have a better source of inspiration, and Coolin' does the tradition
proud. Stanton Moore's drum intro to 'Go Go' sounds like distilled happiness.
Rich Vogel's organ flourishes in 'Something's Wrong With This Picture"
create a liquid slinky. And Jeff Raines' wah-wah guitar throughout the disc sounds like
a Sunday afternoon in the city. One of the most sophisticated debuts of the
Jazz Fest season is further enriched by Robert Mercurio's sly, subtle bass
and special guest Theryl deClouet's handsome tones. The disc's 'enhanced'
multimedia stuff shows how high-tech we can get down here in the tropics.
- New Orleans Gambit Weekly
One of those CDs that will camp out in your stereo.
- Vail Trail Magazine, Colorado (feature)
Blending the best of old-school New Orleans funk with fresh attitudes,
New Orleans-based Galactic steps to the plate with a heavy bat.
Its music stretches across the ages, experimenting with the best of the past
and creating the future.
- Summit Daily News, Colorado (feature)
This Galactic is funky as sh*t. And recorded very well. 99% of funk bands
these days record their sh*t all slick, which sucks the life out of the
- Brian Coleman, WZBC Boston