Black Top

Black Top was founded in the second half of 2011, by Jazz Warrior, multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson, and Pat Thomas (pianist / sound sculptor). Robinson and Thomas are a shape-shifting duo that explores the intersection of live instruments and low-fi technology. Their free-improvised, virtuoso performances blend twisted loops and samples with dub-effects. They draw from their Afro-Caribbean roots with an experimental free-jazz spirit and a spontaneity that is rooted deep in NYC musicians Sam Rivers. Black Top’s global outlook is reflected in the music, which creates evocative, dramatic soundscapes that reflect their expansive worldview. The group made their debut at Dalston’s prestigious Cafe Oto, and has since found a home for their adventures. Orphy and Pat may mumble random phrases such as Archaic Nubian Step Dub, this group of musicians is committed to building working relationships with virtuoso musicians across the cultural and generations that can match their technical dexterity and handle surprise. Each member of the series is shaped by the unique contributions of a guest collaborator. Black Top Number one is now out on Babel Records. It has been critically acclaimed. Black Top performed in 2012 at The Gateshead Festival, at the Sage, and at Konfrontationen Jazz Festival in Nikelsdorf (Austria), where Orphy performed with ‘The Necks. Black Top has also collaborated with Evan Parker Saxophonist Satoko Fukuda and violinist Jason Yarde. Also, Caroline Kraabel (alto), Caroline Watkiss, Jason Yarde and South African master drummer Louis Moholo were part of other sound explorations. Black Top’s two-day residency at the 2014 London Jazz Festival, which was sold out, saw Jamaaladeen Tacuma (ex-Ornette Coleman bassist) and has established the brand as one the best in the UK. Black Top’s Caribbean roots are the foundation of a bold quest that combines Sam Rivers’ NYC loft sessions and lo-fi technology to unleash Afro-diasporic loops, samples, and post-dub sounds. Their dynamic, virtuoso and spontaneous collaborations have earned them both critical acclaim as well as new fans. Black Top’s second album is due to be released on the Babel label by 2015, with Evan Parker as their featured guest. from

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