Introducing REBELLUM

Rebellum photographed by Nisha Sondhe

REBELLUM is a rene­gade splin­ter cell hacked from the recom­bi­nant cor­pus of Burnt Sugar Arkestra, Melvin Van Pee­bles’ wid­Lax­a­tive and Funk­Face. The group’s debut album was com­posed and pro­duced this past sum­mer by BS maven Greg Tate, FF Lord Luq­man Brown, and Sugar Lax­a­tive straw­boss Jared Michael Nick­er­son, in the Harlem stu­dios of Bud­dhaBug Records.

File under Avant-Agit-Pop. The 17 tunes on REBELLUM’s debut album The Dark­nuss  bleed a bloody pro­fu­sion of  exotic elements–warped soul har­monies, free­dom swing horn play, mag­got brained gui­tar bursts and orches­tral loopadelics. The spir­its of Sun Ra, Ron Hardy, Eddie Hazel, Gary Numan and The Emo­tions  all appear to be wel­come here.

The Dark­nuss is an album of snarky protest songs, wry race music and roman­tic war­rior anthems. REBELLUM’s song titles loudly-proudly rep­re­sent the rant­ing swoon of their Afro-Futurist insurgency:”No Coloureds Allowed”, “Start Think­ing like An African”, “The Dark­nuss”, “Rock Star Amne­siac”, “Chains And Water”, “Who’s Lov­ing You Now?”, “There Is A God (The Sin­gu­lar­ity)” and “Young Frankenstank”.

Grip­ping the sum of REBELLUM’s parts demands one appre­hends these fac­tions: The  three part super fly vocal front­line of Mikel Banks, Shel­ley Nicole and Lisala and those ace rid­dim sec­tion com­pan­eras, The Buck­eye Bass Mack Jared Michael Nick­er­son and Straight-Up Cave Girl drum­mer, LaFrae Sci, not to men­tion Long Island Gui­tar Hero, Andre Las­salle, Tenor Sax­o­phone G-force, V. Jef­frey Smith,  Psy­chotronic Bari-Sax Queen, “Moist” Paula Hen­der­son and The Key­board Lib­er­a­tor, Leon Gruenbaum.

REBELLUM’s first –ever Gotham per­for­mance will be a star stud­ded mid­night album launch at Joe’s Pub  on Sep­tem­ber 27th. The affair will fea­ture REBELLUM’s stal­wart 8 pc. line-up along­side some very spe­cial guests– notably, the glob­ally renowned Rwan­dan chanteuse Somi, and leg­endary gui­tarist Ronny Drayton–himself known to many a Labelle devo­tee as Nona Hendryx’s erst­while music direc­tor of three decades.

FYI : Both Somi and Dray­ton are promi­nently fea­tured on REBELLUM’s maiden sin­gle release ”Heart­Seed (Put Your Life In Bloom)”.