The band from Star Wars’ cantina have finally made a comeback! Here’s Quantum Milkshake’s Determination

Star Wars fans are well known to hold the Cantina band, and their one track repertoire, in great affection. But now it seems that Tattooine’s jazz men have a rival – albeit a (currently) earthbound one. Melbourne’s Quantum Milkshake have landed onto the scene with their debut full length release, Determination. The brainchild of trumpeter Fabian Acuna, the collective comprises some eight members and presents the appearance of a cinematic dance orchestra.


This band could be from another planet. Bringing otherworldly soundscapes and extra terrestrial skills to a delicious funk feel, Quantum Milkshake shred on Determination.

An unmistakeable jazz and funk influence rises from the predominance of the brass section across Determination, mixed back with various synths and more classically leaning instrumentation. Beginning with the aptly named Colossal Opening, Quantum Milkshake strike straight out with a frenetic, jittering melody. There is a whiff of a Havana dance party in the fast, jazz inspired themes, but the meat of the track takes on the “cinematic” mantle. Looming passages and urgent string sections, accompanied by erroneous choral sections, somewhere between Flash Gordon and Casablanca.

As you might expect, Quantum Milkshake veer on the epic side of writing, with track lengths edging into jazz odyssey territory. Although second track Seventies makes a smart exception, this 8-bit piece of funkadelia keeps it sweet at just under four minutes. This one may be more Super Mario than Star Wars, but it’s a moment of breathing room before Quantum Milkshake launch into a full ten minutes of Running Around A Turtle.

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Overtaken by their cinematic side once again, a romantic string intro sails around a more melodic intro and oceanic effects. There is actually a rather beautiful feel to the composition here, with well crafted instrumentation and resonating percussion.

A tightly executed time warp leads the track back to Quantum Milkshake’s default, off-kilter dance territory. And Running Around A Turtle assumes a surreal military feel, interspersed with rocking electric guitar, freeform piano and big band hustles.

Quantum Milkshake address themselves to quite a variety of pace and vibe, but the continuous thread of an old fashioned dance hall does hold the album together. The hypnotic High Fiving takes on the stern sway of a tango, although the deep drums could also be your cue to walk like an Egyptian, and the galactic bleeps hint at a party at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

For the full sci-fi experience, fast forward to the quick fire opus that is The Crazy God Pig From The Turkish Banana Store Feat. William T. Sopp. Skipping through any number of forms and styles, like the philharmonic on acid, a section of spoken narrative is reminiscent of 70’s intergalactic literature and films.

Winding down on final track Hop Scotch, Quantum Milkshake offer a sleepier slice of jazz but with an easier beat than elsewhere. Spanning nearly fifteen minutes, the track moves into full band sections but even these have the sense of the outfit easing up. Backed by a pulsating synth in place of a frenetic beat, Quantum Milkshake give way to sparser sections and solo instruments take the spotlight, away from the mad energy that often overtakes Determination.

Just one look at the album artwork for Determination would be enough to illustrate the kind of listening experience you’re in for with Quantum Milkshake. Even the record title suggests a certain emotional state that could be required. However, Determination is an almost jaw-droppingly impressive production. Showcasing exact and highly intelligent compositions, Quantum Milkshake both proffer and perform some seriously impressive writing talent. It is also clear that they are hoopy froods who know exactly where their towels are – and who also understand that statement.