Black Einstein – Whatever Happened To Major Tom? | EP Review

“Whatever happened to Major Tom?” is a question every Bowie fan has asked at least once since the 1995 ‘Hallo Spaceboy’, the last we heard of Major Tom from Bowie himself. Black Einstein has removed the question mark and replaced it with their debut EP “Whatever happened to Major Tom?, released recently on BandCamp.

Black Einstein is the supasoulful vision of London based producer Colin Emmanuel and his collective who bring together mischievous fusions of funk, rap and jazz into soundspace.

This EP is a seven-track sonic excursion, in and out of the introspective space journey David Bowie once created from genius cosmic dust (5 tracks, with two ‘clean’ versions).

‘It Ain’t Easy’ featuring Xavier Barnett is all funk and delicious groove that pave the beats for ‘Common Ground’, an electro infused number, featuring the graceful cadence of singer Baby Sol. Emcee Mystro speaks of frustration, regrets and excuses in ‘Glass Ceiling’, amid electric guitar grits – the same string twangs that accompanied the breaking glass Bowie shattered in 1977.

‘Fascination’ is a fine nu-jazz track led by Xavier Barnett, remembering Young Americans in its brass. Mystro and Maseo (of De La Soul) join mic-forces on ‘Arabia’, a rap flowing on the synth lines of the original ‘Secret Life of Arabia’.

Considering the lyrical scope of Black Einstein’s selection, it seems that Major Tom did come back to earth and had to deal with some very earthly trials. Bowie should come back to the studio (his last album was in 2003) to fill in the details. Meanwhile, Black Einstein have produced a solid work that should make us watch close for more – and hopefully a full album is on its way.

–Nadia Ghanem

Whatever Happened To Major Tom? is available to download for free [or pay it’s worth and name your price] at BandCamp.

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