The Shaolin Afronauts are an Adelaide-based afrobeat band that is styled after Fela Kuti's Africa '70 band and the legendary jazz artist, Sun Ra. Their music incorporates elements of avant-garde jazz, soul and traditional African and Cuban percussive rhythms.
Founded in 2008 out of a fascination with afrobeat and creative improvised music, the band began life as a support act for soul and funk band The Transatlantics before branching out to play their own shows. Over the course of the next few months, the group solidified with a core of 12 band members and expanded their repertoire of original songs. Over the next few years, the band's presence grew; in 2011, they were booked to play the Womadelaide festival in South Australia and had already seen extensive touring throughout the country.
Later in the same year, they were signed to Freestyle records and saw the release of their debut album, Flight Of The Ancients, from which his track - Kilimanjaro - is taken. The album was featured on Radio National Breakfast in Australia and garnered considerable attention on community radio, Streetpress and overseas radio, like here in the UK; Craig Charles has showcased them on his Funk & Soul show on BBC 6 Music.
In 2012, The Shaolin Afronauts released their second album Quest under Capricorn and in 2014, Follow The Path, their third, both released on Freestyle Records; the albums were recorded with an expanded ensemble of 18 musicians.