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. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “House of Ahmet” by I Led 3 Lives from the 2008 album Peace Now on Nublu Records.
This isn’t the typical indie rock coming out of Manhattan these days. I Led 3 Lives is something of a multigenre supergroup -- comprised of Ilhan Ersahin on saxophone and keyboards, Jochen Rueckert on drums, and Juini Booth on bass -- each with a diverse musical resume. This masterful trio adeptly navigates a layered landscape of sound and fusion on Peace Now, their debut record released on Nublu Records, an East Village label connected to the Nublu Club, owned by Ersahin himself and home to a wide range of musicians including Forro in the Dark, 3 Na Massa, and Wax Poetic. Within the first seconds of “House of Ahmet,” you get the sense of the album’s range of sounds -- electronica, techo, jazz, funk, blues, hip hop, house, and even psychedelia -- and its ability to slash through any preconceived genre restrictions and examines how far these established stylistic ranges can be pushed.
The members of the band certainly do lead different lives beyond their collaboration: Juini has played with Tony Williams’ band and the Sun Ra Orchestra, among many others; Rueckert maintains at least three bands in different genres of punk, rock, and electronic; and Ersahin has performed with a dizzying array of musicians, including Turkish gypsy clarinetist Husnu Senlendereci, while still fronting Wax Poetic. Fortunately, when all three come together, bearing their various cultures and styles, they feed the songs on Peace Now with energies fueled by these projects. I Led 3 Lives are sure to gain even larger audiences as buzz continues to grow about their live performances, which are known to be fantastic jam sessions that go on for hours into the night. Although there are no shows listed for the near future, be sure to check their MySpace page and the Nublu website for updates.
Here’s a video from about two years ago of Ilhan Ersahin performing at Nublu, and though it’s not billed as “I Lived 3 Lives,” it definitely looks to be Rueckert on drums and Booth on bass: