TRT World’s Album of the Month for October is multi-instrumentalist and producer Kutiman’s sixth album, which delivers twelve tracks of globetrotting psych-funk and soul.
Equal parts an instrumentalist, producer, composer and filmmaker, Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, is a one-of-a-kind sonic alchemist.
Kutiman (a namesake inspired by his love for Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti) is an Israeli musician who spent the majority of the latter 2000s digging for snippets of amateur solo recordings on YouTube and splicing them into audio-visual instalments that went viral for a series called ThruYou, which won him a place in Time magazine’s list of The Fifty Best Inventions of 2009. He also achieved acclaim for his role in the Netflix music documentary, Presenting Princess Shaw.
When he moved to Tel Aviv at the age of seventeen to study jazz at the prestigious Rimon music college (“the Israeli Berklee”), it was while working at a convenience store listening to college radio that he stumbled across Parliament, DJ Shadow, Massive Attack, and Amon Tobin that provided his earliest musical education.
Drawing upon genres running the gamut from spiritual jazz to psychedelic funk, Kutiman’s diverse discography is a testament to pushing any limits that might exist within his capabilities – hurdles that are ultimately addressed by continually embracing new styles and cultures.
After nine years of living remotely in a kibbutz in the Negev Desert, Kutiman moved back to Tel Aviv to record his sixth studio album, Open, which was released on October 14 on the label Siyal Music.
On Open, he attempts to connect the dots between German krautrock legends Can, Brazilian composer extraordinaire Arthur Verocai, and psych-pop giants Tame Impala, delivering an eclectic groove-laden sound over twelve tracks.
From searing Afrobeat horns, electric jazz-funk, classic soul, chopped-up field recordings, Middle Eastern-tinged psychedelia to even classical Indian ragas, Open is a global excursion of infectious polyrhythmic soundscapes.
A handful of the album’s tracks include Kutiman’s longtime collaborator and vocalist Dekel, whose soulful pop vocals shimmer across five soulful arrangements.
"I had a lot of time and a privilege to explore whatever I wanted to explore." ✨— BBC Radio 6 Music (@BBC6Music) October 21, 2022
Musician and visual artist @kutiman, tells us about the process of creating his new album, Open.
Listen to The @OfficialHuey Show, Saturdays from 10am on @bbcsounds pic.twitter.com/YwfCSFNsSs
The official video for the album's lead track 'Fresh Haze', was created using Disco Diffusion, a tool that makes AI-generated art.
Honourable mention: Japanese krautrock band Minami Deutsch’s third album, Fortune Goodies, released on Guruguru Brain Records.