Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week we are featuring songs from bands that will be performing at Engine Studios during our broadcast in Chicago on July 16-18. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Cheryl Waters, is
Circle Circle Circle by Occidental Brothers Dance Band International from the forthcoming album Odo Sanbra.
The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, a quintet stationed in Chicago, were recently named the best world music band by the often brutal Chicago arts critic Peter Margasak. Led by guitarist Nathaniel Braddock — also of Edith Frost, The Zincs and Ancient Greeks — the group started off covering the best of traditional Congolese musicians. They’ve since gone on to create their own signature blend while staying very true to their traditional inspirations. Ghanaian highlife, the inspiration for the blaring jazz horns, and Afro-Cuban rumba are the two major styles at work here. Kofi Cromwell and Daniel
Rambo Asamoah of the world-famous Western Diamonds, a Ghanaian highlife group, provide trumpet/vocals and drums for OBDBI, respectively. As African rhythms have been creeping back into Western popular music, this collective has been bringing the real deal to sold-out audiences everywhere they go. In addition to playing for KEXP at Engine Studios on Friday, 7/18 @ 1PM CST, OBDBI will also be performing Chicago’s Clark Street Festival (Free) 7/13 and of course the Pitchfork Music Festival. Here’s the band, a bit more reserved than usual, at the Old Town School of Folk Music: