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: '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: 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: Hailing from Japan, Kikaguku Moyo have wasted little time in establishing a fierce reputation for themselves in the international psych scene, waving a mighty freak flag by way of a sound which tips its hat not only to countrymen such as Acid Mothers Temple and Ghost but to a lineage of pastoral and earthy psychedelia that stretches from Trad Gras Och Steinar and Popol Vuh to Dungen and The Heads. 'House In The Tall Grass' is the sound of this outfit at the peak of their powers, delivering a radiant tapestry of acoustic-driven folk serenades and fiery cosmic jams that transcend their influences to establish this hairy collective as a band possessed of subtlety and charm to match their flair and wildness.
A Brief History Of Planet Earth (live In London, Berlin, Utrecht & Barcelona '19)
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.