Captain Supernova’s Fantastic Voyage

Chris Daly hops on the spaceship and explores the Los Angeles jazz artist's latest release.
By    October 18, 2019

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Chris Daly is lobbying to be a supporting actor in an astronaut film starring Paul Rudd.

“The power of the alter ego to transform the individual to reach greater heights (or depths) is a bitch,” I feel like I read or heard somewhere, possibly in either the works of Joseph Campbell, The Mask movie or a Batman comic book. It’s certainly done wonders for the careers of such artists as DOOM, Dr. Octagon and the countless other musicians who have adopted a persona to push the boundaries of their music. West L.A.’s Eric Borders is the latest to don the proverbial mask as he drops his latest album under the Captain Supernova sobriquet. The keyboardist/composer/producer points his stellar interstellar album, The Voyage Never Ends…, towards the cosmos on his most recent space jazz fusion experiment.

You may recall Borders’ earlier work as a founding member of the hip-hop/soul/funk ensemble, Balance and the Traveling Sounds, but under the guise of C.SN, the sound is decidedly jazz-inflected and otherworldly as he delves deeper into synths, vocoders and talk boxes. While this is the third album under the Captain Supernova name, it’s his first on the jazzy Rope A Dope Records label, and the move suits the sound well. The album veers between cosmic instrumental jams and celestial, vocalized grooves, one often spiraling into the other. C.SN is quick to share the spotlight, enlisting powerful vocalists to expand his sound.

Natalie Oliveri adds breathy vocals to slow jam, “Aquarian Dreams,” while Angela Muhwezi gives a more full-bodied feel to “Echoes of Love.” Muhwezi returns for album closers “Find a Way,” with a disco-y flair, and “It Begins” to duet with a vocally manipulated Supernova on a jam that would do both Roger Troutman and Bernie Worrell proud. C.SN does his own thing with the vocoder-enhanced “Endless Maze,” while Made By Crooks gets the only other vocal credit on the shuffling “Breathing.” The rest of his backing band, which tends to vary from track to track, are no slouches, either. Look no further than the ethereal flute of Josh Johnson and ivory tinkling goodness of Mark de Clive-Lowe on “Voyage to Nowhere” to see if I’m lying.

Halloween is just around the corner, so the time of alter egos is upon us all. As you prepare to suit up as a sexy whistle blower or whatever, drop The Voyage Never Ends… into your music player of choice. It’s one of the best treats you’ll receive this season.

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