Ancient Heat is a large ensemble dance band, formed in 2010 by bassist and producer Brendan Grubb. The 10-piece powerhouse revels in an exhilarating mixture of west coast funk, disco, and R&B, merged with the infectious polyrhythms of African pop and a healthy dose of psychedelia. While Grubb will confess major affection for more mainstream disco divas, his orchestration in Ancient Heat is decidedly experimental and daring.
In the world of Ancient Heat, disco is not a genre but a force of nature. As their name suggests, the band seems to have tapped into a secret primordial well of funky sensualism, working their alchemic magic for the dancefloor and turning all that glitters into gold. In both their exuberant re-contextualization of classic works and their own inventive compositions, they convey an unpretentious style and a deep sincerity. This is a group with their feet on the ground, ditching the irony, egos, and iciness of more slick Italo disco.
Instead, they bring us a west coast approach, with an earthy harmony about them that recalls the deep awe of the forest more so than the glitz of the club. The group dresses in all white for their compelling live performances, leading the local press to label these magic-makers: “a cross between Abba and The Children of God.” It’s a spectacle of skilled musicianship and ecstatic theatrics that you’ll need to see to believe….