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 selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “One More Time” by The Archives from the 2012 album Archives on ESL Music.
The Archives began when Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton began a quest to explore the roots of reggae music. He asked keyboard ace Darryl “D-Trane” Burke to put together a cover band that would introduce club goers to the rock steady hits and obscurities of the pre-reggae era. With a set of 13 songs covering the range of reggae styles and sounds, The Archives have released their debut album, Archives.
When the group began writing original material, Burke contacted players he knew that could bring a progressive vibe to the music. Everyone in the band has recorded and toured internationally with acts like Eek-A-Mouse, Culture, Gregory Isaacs and The Abyssinians. The band weaves together the best of foundation roots, rock steady, early dub and dancehall influences with arrangements that use funky throwbacks such as jazz flute, melodica and organ to create a classic, yet fresh sound.
The Archives feature vocalists Ras Puma, the charismatic singer on Thievery Corporation’s Culture of Fear, and Lenny Kurlou (S.T.O.R.M.). Mateo Monk (Sankofa Blackstar) plays guitar, flute and melodica; Burke (Moja Nya, Eek- A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs) is on keyboards, and drummer Leslie “Black Seed” James Jr. (Culture, Eek-A-Mouse) and bass player Justin “Relentless” Parrott (Claudius Linton) round out the lineup. The songs were composed collectively and all band members contributed to the arrangements. The band says their not a “retro band,” but instead a 21st century band with deep traditional roots, who want to contribute to reggae’s evolution. Today’s featured song is a dub/cover version of The Clash’s “One More Time” is a fantastic step in that direction and a great way to get acquainted to The Archives.
Currently, The Achives don’t have any tour dates scheduled, but you can follow up with them on their Facebook page and check out their website. For now, here they are performing an unplugged version of “Ghetto Gone Uptown”: