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. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Jupiter Mission” by Beta Hector from a 2011 album Sunbeam Insulin on Tru Thoughts.
The man behind Beta Hector is none other than Brighton, UK, musician, producer and DJ Simon Hill, the former bass player for retro funk/soul band Baby Charles and nowadays for soul/blues and rhythm band Derriere. For Beta Hector, Hill enlists all of his old band mates but aims his new project solely at satisfying his own personal musical interests without making any compromises. The uniqueness shows. So what does Beta Hector sound like? How about psychedelic neo electro from the UK with a soulful twist? The songs fuse heavy drums and basslines with psychedelic analog sonics. On top of that, he lays down a huge dose of soul with his vocals. Ultimately, this is soul music, but you probably wouldn’t know it.
Beta Hector’s debut solo album, Sunbeam Insulin, released in September 2011, brings a diverse selection of soulful, bittersweet songs and soundtracks, with five vocalists including UK soul queen Dionne Charles and LA MC Shane Hunter. Our featured song, and the first single from the album, “Jupiter Mission”, is a disco-inflected sci-fi track voiced by Hill’s sister Jo and uses software synths, bass guitar and percussion to depict an intergalactic incident. It’s a great introduction to a band (and a man) that is probably new to a lot of people. Not for long.
Want to catch up with Beta Hector online? Here’s a link to his website as well as his Facebook page. For the near future, there are only a few DJ gigs and one band date scheduled in Hill’s locale of Brighton, but right now you can check out this cool animated video of today’s featured song, starring the robot known as “serial no.815″: