Review: Veteran Ninja Tune artist Bonobo has been putting out seriously decent tunes pretty much since the birth of the highly regarded Late Night Tales compilation. It's amazing that they haven't crossed paths before, but with the release of this 33rd entry into the series, the time has finally come for Green to take us on his own nocturnal mission. This 21-track odyssey is seamlessly mixed but the unmixed tracks are also presented so we can enjoy highlights like the velvety soul of 'Didn't I", the hippy funk of "Flowers" and the distorted, fuzzy trap of "Gutter Glitter".
The Universe Smiles Upon You (mix) - (39:44) 87 BPM
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: "Friday Morning" is the first single taken from Texan trio Khurangbin's second album entitled 'Con Todo El Mundo'. The track is equal parts nostalgic soul and low slung funk with an exotic ambience. Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald "DJ" Johnson on drums, their sound is 'rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia.' Their 2015 debut album 'The Universe Smiles Upon You' was heavily influenced by 60's and 70's Thai cassettes and the new album takes inspiration not just from South East Asia, but similarly undiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran.
Review: On their two previous albums, Texan trio Khruangbin have explored a wide range of stylistic pastures, from funk and soul, to indie and psychedelia, to Middle and Far Eastern music. Long player #3, however, finds them largely in reggae/dub mode. There's definitely still an eclectic slant - 'How I Love', for instance, has an Afro-French feel, while 'A La Sala' sounds like ESG jamming with Talking Heads - but it's the sounds of Jamaica that are by far the overwhelming influence here, with the inclusion of a couple of dubs by the legendary Scientist underlining the point. A sofa-based delight.
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: 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.