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 “Q Street (Subatomic Sound System Remix)” by Super Hi-Fi from the 2012 album Dub to the Bone on Electric Cowbell Records.
More than a few of the past decade’s musical heavyweights have emerged out of Brooklyn, but the NYC borough has also lured more than a few outsiders in. For instance, since 2008, Jamaican born Lee “Scratch” Perry has been at the center of a new generation of bands in New York inspired by the dub styles he helped pioneer, notably the Brooklyn artist collective Subatomic Sound System and, more recently, the Brooklyn septet Super Hi-Fi. Taken from their 2012 debut LP, Dub to the Bone, Super HiFi’s “Q Street,” a heady-but-reverent dub song in its original form, is no longer just a slithering low-end exercise when remixed by Subatomic Sound System. Instead, it’s sliced up and rearranged in bits and pieces that lock together to make a dub track that’s as agile as it is heavy. Fading in and out with precisely executed pacing, the track bounces between Ezra Gale’s unshakeable bass and Will Graefe’s nimble guitar picking. Crackling with hallmarks of all eras of Perry’s work, “Q Street” isn’t afraid to show its dub roots, but it presents them in a completely 21st century format (the remix) that the genre was seemingly built for forty-odd years ago.
Super Hi-Fi doesn’t have any announced tour dates at the moment, but expect to see them playing more New York-area shows this month. If they announce any West Coast dates, you’ll read about them first on their website and Facebook. For now, here’s another take on “Q Street” as Brooklyn’s Prince Polo gives the song his own dub treatment: