Mickey Hart, Grateful Dead drummer and spacey sound manipulator extraordinaire, has announced a new solo album called RAMU, featuring a host of collaborators and archival recordings from Babatunde Olatunji and Hart’s late bandmate Jerry Garcia. SPIN readers will likely be most interested in an advance track released today called “Wayward Son,” which features Avey Tare, vocalist of Animal Collective and a noted manipulator of spacey sounds himself.
Considering Animal Collective’s status as dyed-in-the-wool Deadheads–and their sampling of Garcia himself on “What Would I Want? Sky”–this collaboration feels like it was ordained from above by some benevolent psychedelic god. “Wayward Son” delivers on its premise, with some of Avey’s most compelling melodies of recent memory and a cosmic clatter of pitched percussion from Hart. The only slight disappointment is the pristine, festival-ready production from Michal Menert, formerly of Pretty Lights–it would have been great to hear this thing in the swampy fidelity of Strawberry Jam or Aoxomoxoa.
Hear “Wayward Son” below, and “Big Bad Wolf” (featuring Tank of Tank and the Bangas) after that. RAMU arrives November 10–just in time for the start of Dead & Company fall tour–via Verve Forecast.