Review: Supremely laid back funksters Khruangbin are having a busy close to the year - not only have they put together a fine entry into the iconic Late Night Tales series, due in December, but now they've served up a sizzling festive 7". 'Christmas Time Is Here' is a serene dn starry eyed as usual from this Texan outfit, with glassy eyed chords and sweet, subtly funky bass. There are vocal coos on the a-side to add depth and warmth, and on the flip a dub is a little more paired back. Both tunes fill you with seasonal cheer and then some.
Review: If you've caught either Khruangbin or Leon Bridges live before, or indeed listened to anything by either band or producer-singer-songwriter, you'll know where this 20-minute EP is heading. The sleeve art, which gives more than a nod to the 1960s hippy movement, also offers a major clue.
Tripped out, smoked out, lackadaisical, bliss-infused overtures, honied and syrupy, easing you in so far that you don't quite realise how hard it is to crawl back out of the sugar-coated opiate haze. A collection of heady, hallucinogenic work for 21st Century high plains drifters, it's jazzy, psychy, lush soulful fare you'll be wanting to hear again and again, capturing the heat and slow pace of America's southern states with heartfelt songwriting from genuine masters. The result is something very special indeed.
Review: Kutiman is a composer and producer who previously worked with Turkish songstress Melike Sahin in 2019, and now have joined forces once again for another majestically alternative new single. What results is a psyched out sizzler with tough drum breaks, psychedelic synths and basslines that are all heavily filtered to bring texture and tension to this most hallucinatory of experiences. And that's just 'Elimi Tut' - on the flip is the spiritual incantations of 'Karaoke' which is awash with retro-future space age sound effects and rough riding rhythms. ?ahin has had plenty of national hits before now, and word is she is working on her debut album, so this is a fine taster.
Review: 'Mordechai is another blissed-out record from Texan party-chill-psyche trio Khruangbin. It's also among the outfit's most defined and driven, a smooth, sticky hot funk odyssey made for hazy afternoon soirees. Leader Laura Lee is, as ever, unfathomably siren-like on vocals, her bass grooves aiding the process of seduction no end. Even at the most upbeat and anthemic, 'Time (You and I)', it's hard not to feel woozy and intoxicated by the pared-back breaks and guitar lick combination. Dance floor ammo for sure, as is Pelota. Overall, though, it's an album best savoured slowly, allowing you to fully appreciate every lackadaisical moment of opiate goodness, with tracks such as 'Father Bird, Mother Bird', 'One To Remember' and 'Shida' summoning stunning sticky, heavy, deep atmospheres.
Review: Inspired by the slightly unlikely collision of the Thai music of the '70s and The Shadows, Khruangbin - the name means 'aeroplane' in Thailand - are purveyors of a deliriously mellow and beguiling form of jammed-out power-trio guitar music - far removed from standard notions of psych and dreampop, partly owing to its pan-global influences, its nonetheless both psychedelic and dreamy, not to mention possessed of an unhurried, reflective and spacious lilt that renders this Texan-London outfit a rare treat in an information-saturated age, taking on delicate soul and funk with exotic atmospheres and making the journey feel both blissful and effortless.
Review: In 2015, Texas & London-based trio Khruangbin's debut album 'The Universe Smiles Upon You' garnered wide critical acclaim and captured attention for its seamless genre-blending and internationally shaped sound - one that evidently has deep roots in Thai-funk cassette culture. Similarly to their debut, sophomore record 'Con Todo El Mundo' is a cocktail of largely instrumental surf-rock, afro-funk, middle-eastern and far-eastern influences, mixed with warmth and soul. As if their pallette wasn't diverse enough, the additions of the pared back boogie on 'Evan Finds The Third Room', the widescreen dream-pop of 'A Hymn' and deeply intricate writing of closer 'Friday Morning', are illustrative of a band who have worked hard to broaden their horizons while keeping their roots in mind and, despite transatlantic bases, clearly remain a stunningly cohesive and well-matched outfit.
Review: If you've ever examined King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's back catalogue, the fact they've only been active as a band for eight years might surprise. Releasing an average of two full length records every 12 months since 2012, the fact each of those LPs showcases different, new and often daring sides to the outfit is probably even more reasons to stand up and take notice.
Fittingly, KG, which was first unveiled in November 2020 and now sees a special edition land on the proverbial plate, is laden with surprises - it really just depends with which side of the Gizzard you're already familiar with. 'Automation' sees the Australian group call on their heavy metal and progressive rock roots. 'K.G.L.W.' sounds like it might steal you away to a woodland lute performance. 'Honey' is a garage-y slice of primo rock 'n' folk. 'Intrasport' is like (wait for it) Eastern-hued synth pop.
Review: All hail the unhinged and delightfully dirty world of the Gizzard, a band that were already responsible for some of the finest live recordings we've heard this year, if not ever, on spring's concert movie soundtrack Chunky Shrapnel, which featured, among other things, 19-minute masterpiece 'A Brief History of Planet Earth - live in London, Berlin, Utrecht and Barcelona '19'. Now they're back at it, only this time allowing us to dive headfirst into one single date in one individual city, hence the title.
Obvious statements aside, San Francisco '16 confirms what many of us had already picked up on with the aforementioned predecessor. The Australian outfit really, really know what a rock concert should sound like, calling on heavy metal, prog, blues and post-punk to launch a full-blown assault on ears, minds and feet. Right now this is the closest you're getting to that life-affirming experience, so we say drink it up.
Review: It's Gizzard, baby, but not as you've perhaps heard them before. Unless you caught them on stage at one of the shows these live recordings were captured at (namely London, Manchester, Madrid, Utrecht, Milan, Barcelona and Brussels). It's impossible to truly reflect the ferocity and fun of the mighty King in the flesh, but the combination of 'Evil Star''s brooding doom guitars and 'The River''s smooth jazz funk do enough to convey the breadth and scope of what the band are about. The decision to combine multiple concert takes into one (almost) coherent whole makes more sense when you know this LP accompanies a movie of the same name. These are snapshots of life on the road from stage eye view, complete with breakneck heavy metal, stomach-smashing drum solos, and the anthemic pop of 'Let Me Mend The Past'. Concluding with the epic, 20-minute juggernaut of emotion that is 'Brief History of Planet Earth', it's in the exclusive club of live records you need to own.