Coolin' Off artwork

"one party record that you
put on to leave on"

(Spotlight Review, Billboard Magazine)

Coolin' Off

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Produced by Dan Prothero
Fog City Records FCCD 001
UPC Code: 6-06946-10012-7
HDCD Encoded

Personnel: Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio, Jeff Raines, Rich Vogel, Theryl "House Man" DeClouet


Galactic staked their place in the rich tradition of Crescent City funk with the release of their long-awaited debut album. Recorded at New Orleans' Sea Saint Studios (where the smell of legendary acts like the Meters, Chocolate Milk, etc. was definitely still in the air) the project was a collaboration between the band and San Francisco producer/engineer Dan Prothero (shown here at the controls).

[Dan at SeaSaint] The end result immediately earned glowing praise from Billboard (where it received a Spotlight Review), LA Weekly (Pick Of The Week), JazzTimes, High Times, and from independent press all over the country. More importantly, it is a document of one of New Orleans' greatest musical success stories in its earliest stage.

Although this record is no longer on the Fog City label (having been licensed to a major label), we are proud to claim it as our first release and to have otherwise served as a launchpad for a major label, world-touring career.

Another aspect of this release we are proud of is its place in history as one of the very first Enhanced CDs. Through the use of cutting-edge (at the time) technology, the disc contained almost an hour of music plus what remains one of the most extensive multimedia on any Enhanced CD. The Coolin' Off CD can be placed in the CD-ROM drive of most computers for an experience that includes bonus tracks (including live performances), videos, interviews, a special electronic edition of On The One magazine (with articles on clubs and restaurants around the Crescent City - from a musician's point of view) and an incredible portfolio by illustrator Tom Lanaux, inspired by the musical heritage of his native New Orleans.

NOTE: The Coolin' Off album is now available on BMG/Volcano Records. All re-releases of the Coolin' Off CD were not Enhanced CDs; the multimedia features described here were only included on the initial Fog City release, which is now out of print. Galactic's second album Crazyhorse Mongoose (also produced by Fog City label head Dan Prothero) is also out now on BMG/Volcano (you can also order a copy through amazon). You may also enjoy the wildly successful debut solo album from Galactic drummer Stanton Moore.

‘‘ Ascendant stars of the eclectic, Cafe Brasil-based music scene on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, Galactic is a sensuous, swampy, and plenty-tight source of pan-cultural acid jazz like only the Crescent City could supply. As instructed at the start of this rhythmic tour de funk, 'Welcome to New Orleans... and if you're from out of town -- heh, heh -- welcome to the Third World!' A cool, young quintet consisting of bassist Robert Mercurio, drummer Stanton Moore, guitarist Jeff Raines, keyboardist Rich Vogel, and featured vocalist Theryl deClouet, Galactic takes the Big Easy's groove and dance music beyond the seminal sissy strut, merging its gritty, street-band sway with sultry Carribbean instincts, post-Stax Southern syncopation, and an earthy sense of latitude unique to Frenchmen Street. Something's Wrong With This Picture, heady On The One, street-level Mystery Tube, and three-part Everybody Wants Some are some highlights, but Coolin' Off is one party record (plus enhanced programming) that you put on to leave on.
- Timothy White, Editor In Chief, Billboard Magazine

" Pick Of The Week - New Orleans can proudly boast of being home to most of this nation's oldest musical traditions, but fresh sounds from the Crescent City have been somewhat underwhelming. While underexposed talents like N.O. genius Sunpie and blues growler Walter 'Wolfman' Washington ceaselessly labor in the uptown joints and French Quarter boites, national names like Harry Connick Jr. (making a jerk out of himself with ersatz funk albums) and Aaron Neville (selling his self-parody falsetto to all comers) sully and weaken that rich heritage more than anything else. Galactic, a wet-behind-the-ears group of youngsters, have erupted with a deep-grooving brand of muscular, economic, syncopated soul-funk that hits the ear with almost bewildering impact. Well aware of their town's daunting precedents (by which they'll invariably be judged), Galactic manages to deliver the heat, rhythm and style with good grace, a twist of historic influence, and that most essential of elements: the try-for-further sense of exploration and adventure that has always characterized New Orleans' best bands. And what better setting than the funkenized, down-home elegance of this room? Almost too good to be true. "
- Jonny Whiteside, L.A. Weekly

" Already hometown stars in a city that eats funk for breakfast, this horn-augmented New Orleans quintet is the tightest and tastiest Louisiana groove band to emerge since the Meters. Less noodly but no less exploratory than Medeski Martin and Wood, Galactic is the fat, fulsome spawn of acid jazz, the East Coast jam-band scene, and New Orleans street music. "
- The Village Voice

" Galactic, being from New Orleans, is up to its eyeballs in groove sauce 24-7. So when these youngsters (Robert Mercurio on bass, Stanton Moore on drums, Jeff Raines on guitar and Rich Vogel on keyboards) lock into a beat, you know they're not faking it. Coolin' Off contains bows to their Crescent City forefathers (like the Meters-influenced 'Funky Bird') and other languid, strolling grooves. Vogel carries most of the solo space -- check 'On The One' -- and some compositions are fleshed out by some welcome guest stars. The disc-opening 'Go Go' features Erik Jakobson on trumpet, Mark Mullins on trombone and Eric Traub on sax. Vocalist Theryl deClouet adds some weatherbeaten soul to the Stax-influenced neck-snapper 'Something's Wrong With This Picture'. (FOUR STAR RATING) "
- Tony Greene, JazzTimes

"Best Funk Band"
"Best Funk/Soul/R&B Album by a Louisiana artist"
"Best Up And Coming Funk Band"
- Offbeat Magazine

" A new-N'Awlins funk band that will surely provide the stuff necessary for shaking that ass "
- Time Out NY

" Not your standard, watery alterno-funk offering, this record is an infectious blend of voo-doo swamp jazz, funky Meters-style soul, and some killer "on the one" grooves that make your jimmy leg shake whether you want it to or not. "
- Valley Record Distributors

" major-label prospects "
- Pulse! Magazine

" an infectious mix of acid jazz and swamp soul that never fails to get our joints jumping. A massive horn section mixed with a solid rhythm crew make for some seriously danceable grooves. Nice design, some rehearsal video clips, and (above all) the music put this CD into heavy rotation at the Site. "
- The Site, MSNBC

" Galactic is fast becoming the preeminent 'must see' band on the circuit today... serious swamp funk with a shot of soul that is sure to make you shiver. "
- Tom Speed, An Honest Tune

" poised to break through to stardom "
- Josh Werner, The Technique

" A perfect example of the new jazz is Galactic, a group of New Orleans players that recently released its debut CD, "Coolin' Off." The set of mostly instrumentals takes off from the famously funky New Orleans' instrumental group The Meters, gets as soulfully sophisticated as '70s Stevie Wonder and features soloists that hold your interest without loosing the groove. The keyboardist Rich Vogel burns up every note. "
- Roberta Penn, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
(read the entire feature article by clicking here)

" A contemporary hybrid of cool, hip-hop attitude, complex, jazzy phrasing, and earthy, low-down swamp funk. Coolin' Off is a document of Galactic's even, forward-moving take on the so-called 'acid jazz' genre, sure to entrance fans of such like-mided groups as Groove Collective, Medeski Martin Wood, and the Greyboy Allstars. "
- Pete Gershon, The Springfield Advocate
(read the entire feature article by clicking here)

" Galactic drops '70s funk chops spiced with infectious Meters-like grooves. File this sonic soul food under funk/acid jazz, tighten up, and bob your head! '97 is Galactic's year, so if you're up for the down stroke, be sure to check these guys out. "
- Tribe Magazine
(read the entire feature article by clicking here)

" With a thick electric piano, fatback drumming, and a slinky guitar, the band ends up in a place that Medeski, Martin, and Wood fans will find real comfortable. The difference is that where that outfit has its roots solidly in pure jazz, Galactic looks more to its hometown rhythm and blues tradition as forged by the Meters and Alan Toussaint. Think of it as getting 'in there' as opposed to the more spacey approach of Medeski's 'out there' organ vamping. "
- Brett Sokol, The Cleveland Free Times

" Fog City has released its first CD, Coolin’ Off from Galactic - jazzy funk for the mind and butt "
- CK Smart, Straight No Chaser

" New Orleans is synonymous with funk - the beat that drives the brass bands in second-line parades and fills the venerable clubs steeped in the spirits of musicians past. From that legacy comes Galactic, a band that, despite their 20-something ages, is more closely connected to the deep funk of the late '50s and early '60s than any of their contemporaries. Fans and recent converts to Galactic's funky jams discover that regardless of what they expected - throw-back R&B or acid jazz - the band plays an irresistable groove. "
- Orlando Weekly

" I just wanted to let you know that i saw your band at the [Green] Circle and they were sick! "
- DJ Greyboy (San Diego)

" to be honest... we're amazed! Man, this is a brilliant peace of work! "
- Groove Attack (Germany)

" Funk bands exist in every college town in the country, but in New Orleans, the funkiest city in the world, Galactic are at the top of the next-generation funk bands. The band achieved this position by staying close to what funk is all about without regurgitating the same grooves as James Brown, Booker T. and the MGs, the Meters, and Sly and the Family Stone. As the band's performances, including a recent slot at the Jazz Fest, and debut record Coolin' Off display, the best funk is sparse and wide-open: take a steady rhythm section groove, add layers of organ, Clavinet, Wurlitzer, guitar, horns, and your occasional vocals, and you've tapped in to a legacy that started back in the late-'50s and has kept funk fans sliding and shaking ever since. "
- Alex Oliver, Offbeat Magazine
(read the entire article by clicking here)

" Number One on the Vibes 'n Stuff chart!
- Paul E. Lopes, Streetsound Magazine

" It was nice to hear some good live music - with all the fusion going on these days it's hard to hear just a good swingin' jazzy band possessing 'cool'. Makes me want to land in New Orleans soon! - Jeannie Hopper, Liquid Sound Lounge, WBAI New York

" New Orleans musicians have a habit of taking what everyone else is doing and making it rip and bump in ways previously thought impossible. That's what this excellent 'new jazz' group is up to. Propelled by Rich Vogel on keys (whose Hammond work might make you think James Taylor, but don't: Rich is better), this group gets funky without being pushy, gets jazzy without being snooty, gets groovy without being goofy, and is guaranteed to get right in your head. The harmonic ideas are right on. And Theryl deClouet's guest vocals are wonderful. One of those groups and albums that makes you happy you checked into this new jazz vibe. "
- Step Jazz Magazine (San Diego)

" New Orleans funk from the Third World. As thick as the swamps from whence it has emerged, their groove soaks clear through your socks. Next thing you know, you're up to your chest in arm-raising, head-bobbing smooth vibage. You lose if you missed them as they slid through Family Funktion at Alvin's on their straight shot to super stardom. Eat up, folks... we may not see spanky jazz nourishment like this again for a while. Bonus: their non-major-label CD is also an interactive Mac/PC CD-ROM featuring sights and sounds of the band and a steamy, rich tour of the Crescent City. Bwa-na-na-ba-da.
- The Orbit (Michigan)

(one of the top ten local releases for the year)
- Kevin Aucoin, manager at Tower Records/Video (New Orleans)

(one of the top ten performances of the year)
- Louisiana Jukebox (Cox Channel 10, Louisiana)

" Galactic's debut album certainly has restorative properties. Its compelling grooves, soulful keyboards, syncopated guitar and spicy horns are a fine antidote for a rough day at work. "
- Orlando Sentinel

" sh*t is tight! "
- Dat Fool Zen, Solesides Records

" Although the acid-jazz scene has effectively diversified into a dozen different musical directions, it's still refreshing to hear a straight ahead jazz/funk band that really know their stuff. A major reason that this album sounds so fresh has got to be due to the studio engineering abilities of Dan Prothero (who also runs the Fog City label and is perhaps best known for his work with San Francisco label Ubiquity). It sounds like the band have just gone into the studio and layed down the tracks in a few takes, giving the sound a much needed raw edge and vitality. Yes, in a lot of ways this is a Retro affair but with songs such as 'Something's Wrong With This Picture' and 'Stax Jam' , who's to argue with their chosen path? "
- Phil Meadley, Fly! Zine (UK)
(read the entire article by clicking here)

" a finely mixed drink of funk, jazz and R&B "
- Craig L. Marrano, T@P Online Magazine
(read the entire article by clicking here)

" The Austin show was incredible. I work at Stubb's and we really enjoyed having everyone in Galactic there. We were all really impressed with the music. It's not often the whole staff sticks around to hear a show after work, but we were all listening. We're counting the minutes until they come back and play again. "
- Christina Landsborough at Stubb's (Austin, TX)
(the club with the best bands - and the best Bar-B-Que) in Texas!

" Several local bands maintain sites on the World Wide Web, but Galactic's debut is the first "enhanced" CD - one containing video images, interviews and bonus live cuts that can be accessed by a CD-ROM-equipped computer - from a Louisiana act. If it weren't for that high-tech feature, Coolin' Off could be passed off as a product of the early '70s. I mean that as a compliment - the slinkiest funk was cut 20-plus years ago, and Galactic succeeds in capturing that spirit. For a young funk band in New Orleans, borrowing from the Meters is almost requisite, and Galactic obliges in "Go-Go" (which builds from a raw, acid-jazz-style beat to include a looping bass figure and a wah-wah guitar, then an organ) and 'Funky Bird', which are informed with obvious nods to the Meters catalog. Veteran local singer Theryl deClouet guests on two tracks, lending urban grit and the sort of social justice sentiments that also harken back to the early '70s ('give me my acres and give me my mule' he demands on 'Something's Wrong With This Picture'). Galactic maintains a groove throughout, punched up by a horn section in places. They don't need to go anywhere - during 'On The One' they hang out in a satisfying little pocket. Such a young band's ability to create such spare, new-yet-vintage funk on its first outing bodes well for the perpetuation of the music. "
- New Orleans Times-Picayune

" Last night, after playing trombone with Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe for a 5 hour set of frightful funk at the Dream Palace here in New Orleans, I ran uptown to Benny's to catch Galactic's set. They were sLAMmin'! I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in for a couple songs and I gotta say, the ride from the inside is phat, phat, fffaaattt. Great band . . . if you haven't heard their CD on Fog City Records, pick it up. If you get a chance to see them live . . . don't miss'm! "
- Mark McGrain
(Trombone with PLUNGE - Accurate/Rounder Records)

" Ever wonder how oil magnates feel when they discover a real gusher? That sense of exhiliration has to approximate the current mental status of the young guys from Galactic, who have had the good sense and the good fortune to mine the deep, rich (and, dare I say, oily) New Orleans funk tradition for a debut album. No band could have a better source of inspiration, and Coolin' does the tradition proud. Stanton Moore's drum intro to 'Go Go' sounds like distilled happiness. Rich Vogel's organ flourishes in 'Something's Wrong With This Picture" create a liquid slinky. And Jeff Raines' wah-wah guitar throughout the disc sounds like a Sunday afternoon in the city. One of the most sophisticated debuts of the Jazz Fest season is further enriched by Robert Mercurio's sly, subtle bass and special guest Theryl deClouet's handsome tones. The disc's 'enhanced' multimedia stuff shows how high-tech we can get down here in the tropics. "
- New Orleans Gambit Weekly

" One of those CDs that will camp out in your stereo. "
- Vail Trail Magazine, Colorado (feature)

" Blending the best of old-school New Orleans funk with fresh attitudes, New Orleans-based Galactic steps to the plate with a heavy bat. Its music stretches across the ages, experimenting with the best of the past and creating the future. "
- Summit Daily News, Colorado (feature)

" This Galactic is funky as sh*t. And recorded very well. 99% of funk bands these days record their sh*t all slick, which sucks the life out of the music. "
- Brian Coleman, WZBC Boston