Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Enter The Brahmin” by Thunderball from the 2010 album 12 Mile High on Eighteenth Street Lounge.
In addition to being the title of one of the best of the James Bond movies, Thunderball is also a veteran lounge and dub trio from Washington, D.C. Their fourth full-length album 12 Mile High was released late last year on Thievery Corporation’s ESL Music, a label that was formed in the DC venue Eighteenth Street Lounge, which is owned by Thievery Coporation’s Eric Hilton and is dedicated to promoting artists on ESL’s roster. Since they formed in the late 90s, Thunderball have been a fixture of the Eighteenth Street Lounge, their cinematic melding of dub, lounge, bass-and-drum, and other styles helping shape the scene and shake the walls over the course of the past decade.
Today’s featured song, “Enter The Brahmin,” is the first track off of 12 Mile High, and as soon as it begins it’s clear that they run in the same circles as genre-pioneers Thievery Corporation. The song begins with the ringing of a gong that gives way to a medley of watery effects, various lingering reverberations, chimes, muffled vocal samples, and plenty of sitar (which the trio plays live). Eventually Thunderball’s dub influence kicks in, as the bass is ratcheted up to room-rattling proportions, setting the groundwork for the rest of the song - an expansive, sitar-laden trip that will make you want to pin up some tapestries, dim the lights, and break out the hookah that’s been collecting dust in your closet.
Thunderball doesn’t appear to have any shows scheduled for 2011, although they will be playing at Coachella on Sunday, April 17. Until then, you can stream 12 Mile High in its entirety via ESL Music. Here’s a video of Thunderball playing “Enter The Brahmin” live at the Eighteenth Street Lounge in DC: