Khruangbin: The Universe Smiles Upon You (NightTimeStories/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Khruangbin: Two Fish and an Elephant
Khruangbin: The Universe Smiles Upon You (NightTimeStories/Southbound)

As summer arrives our attention turns to slower sounds, but if the thought of more barbecue reggae makes you queasy then this (mostly) instrumental trio originally out of Texas can oblige with something special and pleasingly unexpected.

Owing a little to the slow end of surf instrumentals (think the theme to The Endless Summer), a bit to the romantic side of the Shadows and psychedelic soul grooves, they also weave in some supple trip-hop and a bit of subtle South East Asia funk.

Quite an amalgam of reference points but the dreamy, distant sound of the lightly fuzzed guitar, head-nod rhythms, gentle exoticism and the occasional vocal passage to add another dimension make for something which commands repeat-play.

There aren't too many instrumental bands out there which – as they do here on Dern Kala -- can start somewhere on a Thai beach at dusk, have you subliminally humming a Marvin Gaye tune and then take you home via Hawaii.

Their name suggests something like “flying engine” or “aeroplane” in Thai apparently.

But whatever it is, the take-off is smooth and there's no turbulence in these 40 minutes of flying first class.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

Here's a frequent flyer/transit lounge column for those at home who want to get their musical passport stamped. Elsewhere has so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention that we... > Read more

Various Artists: The Original Sound of Cumbia (Soundway)

Various Artists: The Original Sound of Cumbia (Soundway)

In one of the least inspiring covers in Christendom -- and with the big-breath subtitle "The History of Colombian Cumbia and Porro as told by the Phonograph 1948-79" -- this utterly... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ZAWINUL: DIALECTS, CONSIDERED (1986): Keyboard player speaking for himself

ZAWINUL: DIALECTS, CONSIDERED (1986): Keyboard player speaking for himself

Keyboard player Joe Zawinul had recorded albums under his own name before this one, but the self-titled previous one had been in '71, 15 years previous. In the interim he'd sprung to forefront... > Read more

The Kinks: Something Else

The Kinks: Something Else

While most of the world was losing its head to psychedelia and day-glo, Kinks' songwriter Ray Davies burrowed even deeper and deeper into his domestic observations of English life on this album, in... > Read more