A couple of days ago, in the process of looking for more info on Bill Brewster’s forthcoming 3rd Late Night Tales comp, came across an image for a bright 10″ album cover that looked like a cross between 1996’s James and the Giant Peach and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
Since I have the attention span of a Labrador Retriever, the inscrutable band name in a clean white font, Khruangbin, and the crisp aesthetic immediately threw me off my search.
I chased them down and found something strange, surf and psych inflected Thai-funk stone grooves from Houston, Texas.
There’s no surf in Texas. Also, it’s very far from Thailand. Also, it’s not 1968. So, it simply doesn’t compute. But, it DOES.
The Texas trio makes music that’s the sonic equivalent of those shots in Westerns where the heat rising off the desert floor makes the horizon shimmer like crumpled aluminum foil, and then a rider appears through the silvery waves of light.
The rider is not a villain though, he’s El Topo or Django or someone probably way more chill than those dudes.
Maybe it’s Salma Hayek, I dunno.
In any case, the name Khruangbin means airplane (or literally “engine fly,” which is super awesome.)
Instead of soaring, their sound fuzzes, buzzes and floats like smoke and is cool like Samuel Jackson’s tooth gap.
It’s a seriously bad mother funkin’ groove.