SONG/VIDEO PREMIERE: On “Join As One,” Golden Dawn Arkestra Jam Colorfully With African Disco Vibe

Photo by Ryan Hubert

Golden Dawn Arkestra bandleader Topaz “Zapot” McGarrigle, certainly operates on a higher playing field than most of the world, where his musical zeitgeist absorbs all that was gelling on a higher consciousness through musical history. From Fela to Sun Ra to Miles Electric, Topaz grasps the truest forms of musical past and churns it into a present-day reawakening.

Using the year 2020 pause to take a new approach to songcraft, Topaz collaborated with producer Walker Lukens in various studios to build songs and bring together band members and guest musicians – all contributing to the 80’s electro, funky disco record that was taking shape. Flexing their shared appreciation for the deep cuts and wide world of funk, Lukens and Topaz shaped a sonic sojourn, voyaging from ambient spoken word introludes to nightclub-ready bangers and bops. The result is The Gold Album – due out August 12 digitally and on limited 180 gram edition vinyl out on Spaceflight Records.

Glide is premiering the radiant new song “Join As One,” which summons a fearless Daft Punk vibe where undaunting night escapades prove the norm. The message of “Join as One” was inspired by the BLM protests of 2020 and even more specifically the Wide Awakes movement. The video was shot at Paramount Theater & The Texas Capitol Building and captures a resounding “wave your freak flag to make the world a better place” statement.

“The main message is represented by the first line “Love and joy are the weapon”. The Wide Awakes are all about promoting protest and change through expressions of joy, art, music, and dance. Musically the groove started with the baseline and was the first song I used synth bass on which kind of dictated a big musical shift in sound on this album. The Moog bass is super prevalent on multiple songs. The general groove of the song is strongly influenced by the African disco I was digging into at the time,” says Topaz.

Read on for these insightful notes from the Director of the video..

Join As One serves as the third in a trilogy of videos off Golden Dawn’s latest album so I actually started to think a lot about Godfather III. The image of the whole Corelone family in an opera box served as our visual jumping off point. 

The anthemic lyrics call us to “crush the darkness” and “join as one.” So what better place to illustrate the theme of coming together and bringing the light than a cinema? Especially historic theatres like the beautiful Paramount Theatre in Austin which had “gone dark” during the pandemic. The “film” the family attends the premiere for is actually another music video we made together back in 2018. The whole video is something of a love note to cinema.

In the previous video of the trilogy, we see a spiritual revolution emerge which by this finale has turned into a political revolution. We wanted to present an ecstatic and victorious reclamation of this temple of light. As Join As One‘s lyrics infer, “love and joy are the weapon,” so we wanted to replace the images of violent insurgence that have been present in the zeitgeist with more jubilant and harmonious ones. 

Our hero begins the trilogy in Phenomenal longing for connection in the midst of the pandemic. There are only four people in the whole video and he is seen isolated from even those few. By Join As One, there are literally ten times the amount of cast and we see he has successfully surrounded himself with a loving community.

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