High Pulp

Desert-questing astral jazz mavericks

photo: Jon Christopherson


They might sound like a supergroup composed of The High Llamas and Pulp but – trust me – High Pulp are sonically way more messed up than that. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, they’re also as far removed from local grunge noiseniks Alice In Chains or Soundgarden. The early stirrings of High Pulp took place in drummer Bobby Granfelt’s Washington basement in 2015, though things really started happening when Granfelt and alto saxophonist Andy Morrill relocated to Los Angeles just ahead of the pandemic. High Pulp signed to Anti-, the home of Tom Waits, releasing their label debut ‘Pursuit Of Ends’ in 2022.

Why High Pulp?

Imagine, if you will, Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi Band time -warping forward a decade and fusing with ‘Future Shock’-era Hancock, before being blasted into the 27th century on a space rocket made of cosmic dust. As a collective, they exist in a psychedelic hinterland where parping oboes and vertiginous trumpets meet electronic squiggles and acoustic vibes. Harps and flutes float serenely in the empyrean while skittering drums and dirty sub-bass bubble up from the abyss below.

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It’s improvisational music that will twist your melon, but delivered within a framework that exudes mastery and control. This is due to the fact that much of their new album, ‘Days In The Desert’, was pieced together electronically using Ableton when we were all locked indoors. Sultry collaborations include rising saxophone prodigy and labelmate James Brandon Lewis on ‘Dirtmouth’, International Anthem’s guitar supremo Jeff Parker on ’Unified Dakotas’, and Ninja Tune alumnus Daedelus on the urgent, crackling ‘(If You Don’t Leave) The City Will Kill You’ – which is perhaps High Pulp’s sonic high vista to date.

‘Days In The Desert’ is out on Anti-

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