Prolific musician, singer-songwriter, producer and composer Jaz Coleman, frontman of influential UK rock band Killing Joke, recently announced a new collaborative project entitled Black & Red with Czech professional didgeridoo player, Ondrej Smeykal. According to a press release, Black & Red premiered their “…debut single ‘On The Day The Earth Went Mad’ across all digital platforms and the single is also available as a limited edition numbered red vinyl 10” via Cadiz Music.”
Coleman has recorded and released fifteen full-length studio albums with Killing Joke. The post-punk rock collective released their 1980 eponymous debut album and with an expansive 4 decade run, Killing Joke released their latest musical offering back in 2015 entitled Pylon, via Spinefarm/Universal. Their current touring roster is comprised of frontman Coleman (vocals/keyboard), Youth (bass), Geordie Walker (guitar) and Paul Ferguson (drums).
The latest collaboration between Coleman and Smeykal as Black & Red, comes in the form of their caustic single “On The Day The Earth Went Mad.” The track’s distorted industrial production mixed with the stridently piercing wind instrumentation, provided by Smeykal, is brilliantly executed. The track has an almost lethally concealed threat, bubbling beneath the surface and listeners can hear how the two musical minds meet to get their point across. The accompanied music video comes with a slew of scathing footage of warfare, scenes of turmoil in regards to protests and uprising, global natural disasters, amongst a myriad of political undertones. To listen to Black & Red’s “One The Day The Earth Went Mad” stream below, via YouTube.
Speaking on the Black & Red project and the genesis behind the collaboration, according to the aforementioned press release, Coleman says:
“The Black and Red project was born in Australia in 2010 when I set out to find the greatest virtuoso of the didgeridoo only to find the maestro of the instrument resided in Prague where I lived. Upon my return to Czech Rep, I was introduced to Ondrej Smeykal. We ended up not just developing an ancient instrument, but recording the Black and Red project (adding only Indian Harmonium) and an explosive duo was formed which could recreate the recording live perfectly. The funny thing is Black and Red only made sense after lockdown.“