The distinctive rolling grooves, growling basslines and blasting horns of Snakehips Etcetera combined to present Nucleus's most energetic record. First released on Vertigo in 1975, original copies of Snakehips Etcetera are now very tricky to score. Like all the Nucleus records, it’s aged ridiculously well and this Be With re-issue, re-mastered from the original analogue tapes, shows off just why this deserves to be back in press.
Genius trumpeter and visionary composer Ian Carr was one of the most respected British musicians of his era. He was a true pioneer and saw the potential in fusing the worlds of jazz with rock, just as Miles Davis and The Tony Williams Lifetime did in the US. In late 1969, following the demise of the Rendell-Carr quintet, and tiring of British jazz, Carr assembled the legendary Nucleus. Regarding music as a continuous process, Nucleus refused to 'recognise rigid boundaries' and worked on delivering what they saw as a 'total musical experience'. We can get behind that.
Under bandleader Carr, Nucleus existed as a fluid line-up of inventive, skilled musicians. This constant evolution and revolution was all part of the continuous musical exploration and discovery that took jazz to new levels. And the music has kept relevant. To steal a line from a review of our re-issue of Roots, when it comes to anything Nucleus 'it’s basically already hip-hop'
With all restraint out the window, 1975's pimped-up Snakehips Etcetera is the outrageous - in both cover art and sound - follow-up to the brooding Under The Sun. It's perhaps not one for the jazz purists! It finds Nucleus pared down to a core group of six, with Carr, Bob Bertles (sax), Ken Shaw (guitar), Geoff Castle (keys), Roger Sutton (bass) and Roger Sellers (drums) comprising the collective. Snakehips Etcetera reflects a period where the compositions start to become a little more direct and less-cerebral in comparison to some of Nucleus' previous releases. And why would we begrudge them some fun? This one rocks, swings and funks with no little soul. And more than a little jazzy sleaze. Clearly, they were having a good time.