“Should you ever wish to fantasize about riding a magic carpet with Jimi Hendrix, play 6am.” – Hannah McKee for Stuff New Zealand.
Ophir Kutiel, more popularly know by his pseudonym Kutiman’s, latest album transcends musical boundaries in unlikely ways. In his latest release, he takes afrobeat, psychedelic rock, orchestral and soul influences and throws in a dash of Middle Eastern pizazz to create a vibrant 33 minute musical tapestry. The result is peacefully wild!
I discovered his previous work, an EP by the name of Space Cassava, last summer and I was greatly pleased by what I heard. It is cosmic psychedelic funk in the purest sense and is a must-listen in my opinion.
The rest of his work is equally fascinating as it is prolific. The multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestra leader, songwriter and filmmaker has his hands in a variety of projects. All of which are no cooler than the last! In 2009, his ThruYou project made it onto Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of the Year. For this work, Kutiman took YouTube videos from amateur musicians of all kinds and stacked together into a deliciously funky jam sandwich!!
In February of this year, he did something similar in a YouTube album titled Off Grid. Video footage taken from a variety of different instrumentalists was strategically laced and overlayed to create a 10 song psychedelic jazz album. Some trippy colors and geometric shapes were added to the video to add to the album’s overall intended effect.
In addition to this, he also is the protagonist in the documentary “Presenting Princess Shaw” about his curious musical relationship with down-on-her-luck New Orleans-based singer and YouTube Star, Samantha Montgomery. More can be learned about the film through this article via The Guardian. The documentary is currently rated 6.4/10 on IMDB.
He also has an ongoing series called “Thru the City” where he visits places around the world and films musicians. The local sounds are intertwined with cultural landmarks, activities, and native faces to give the series a truly refreshing and organic feel. He currently has videos for Jerusalem, Krakow, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv.
However, his latest release is a unique piece of art in its own right. The album starts off with “Jaffa Beach” and sounds like it could have been pulled from a Beatles’ record. This enjoyably smooth track is immediately followed by “She’s a Revolution” which blurs soul music into a blast of Middle Eastern funk. “I Think I Am” ends on a super psychedelic note before mellowing out into the title track to calmly close out the album.
All in all, it’s an enjoyable experience. No matter your musical palate, there are sounds on here for everyone to enjoy. As Pitchfork once said, Kutiman’s sound is best described as, “a psyched-up groove monster that can’t decide between vintage and modern and instead just has it both ways.”
Discover it for yourself below.