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 song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Baby Fat” by Redtenbacher’s Funkestra from the 2015 album Dr. Hypenstein on Wooden Hat Records.
Under the moniker Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, bassist Stefan Redtenbacher leads a group of top-notch musicians through his jazz and funk workouts. An alumnus of the Vienna Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, the Austrian-born musician and composer arrived in London after graduating from Berklee in 1996 and hasn’t looked back. Both in an educational capacity – he was a department head at the Academy of Contemporary Music for close to 15 years – and as a performer, Redtenbacher’s musical connections run wide. (His session and performance credits include artists from Adam Ant to Amy Winehouse.) His primary musical output is the jazz and funk outfit Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, who have gigged steadily for a decade and released eight albums, including this year’s Dr. Hypenstein. (A ninth, entitled The Time Thief, is being targeted for release later in the year.) Armed with a saxophone lead worthy of its own Ill Clinton video, “Baby Fat” is everything its title doesn’t imply: it’s lean, agile, and breathless in its groove. Redtenbacher clearly knows the tools of his trade, and they’re all here, from the Nile Rodgers-style licks to the vibrant, subtly propulsive bass underpinning it all. “Baby Fat” sounds like it was a blast to record, if not only because of its all-around explosive nature, but also because of the sense of sheer joy that runs through every explosive climax.
Redtenbacher’s Funkestra will continue their residency at London’s 606 Club next month. If they announce any other tour dates, that news will be on Redtenbacher’s website and Facebook. Below, watch the video for Dr. Hypenstein‘s title track.
KEXP Music Director Don Yates has declared the debut release from Ibeyi as his “Pick of the Week.” He notes, “the debut album from the young Paris-based French-Cuban twin-sister duo of Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz (who are also both daughters of the acclaimed Cuban percussionist Miguel “Anga” Diaz) is a mesmerizing blend of electro-pop, soul, hip hop, jazz and traditional Yoruban chants, with a spacious, minimalist sound combining somber piano, atmospheric synths, Cuban percussion and electronic beats accompanying the sisters’ heavenly harmonies and poignant lyrics of love, family and loss (sung in English, French and Yoruban).”
Other highlights this week include the latest from Brooklyn noisemakers A Place To Bury Strangers, whose “fourth album is another intense blend of shoegazer psych-rock, edgy post-punk and goth-tinged industrial, with a dark, often dissonant sound featuring noisy, effects-drenched guitars, often-motorik rhythms and sinister vocals.” Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez returns with his third solo album (and first in seven years), “a typically well-crafted set of stripped-down folk-pop with hypnotic guitar lines inspired by West African desert blues and elemental percussion accompanying his gentle, layered vocals and philosophical lyrics.”
Carl Barat & The Jackals release their debut, and the former Libertines frontman “sounds reinvigorated with his new band on this impressive debut album, which charges ahead with some raging, Clash-influenced rockers while also making room for a couple of sweeping ballads.” West coast troubadour and band Sonny & The Sunsets share a “fine, diverse set of quirky psych-pop with cinematic, narrative-driven songs ranging from sci-fi beach-pop and motorik psych-rock to jangly ‘60s pop-rock and more eccentric fare.” Brooklyn-via-Alabama artist Matthew Houck (aka Phosphorescent) releases “a 3LP/2CD live album recorded over four nights in December 2013 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The material spans his career, though there’s an emphasis on his most recent album Muchacho.”
Sam Beam’s new label Black Cricket Recording Co. has released Archive Series Volume No. 1, the first collection in a series of archival Iron & Wine songs. Most of the tracks were recorded while he was working on his 2002 debut, The Creek Drank The Cradle. The album will officially drop on February 24, but you can stream the album below via Billboard. [Pitchfork]
When Brandi Carlile and her cohorts Tim and Phil Hanseroth (a.k.a. The Twins) take the stage this Friday night at the Moore Theatre for a sold-out “Pin Drop” show to benefit KEXP’s New Home, you can expect to hear new songs crackling with energy and emotion. That’s a direct outcome of the real life feel-for-all the band encountered while making its forthcoming album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter (available March 3).
“You should’ve seen the fireworks in the studio,” says the Washington native. “There was storming out of rooms, there were tears, there were group hugs.” It was far from business as usual for the longtime collaborators, who were startled by their own outbursts. “[Recording] hasn’t been like that before. We were looking at each other, going ‘Are we Fleetwood Mac right now?’”
Over 10 years as an artist, Honduras’ Aurelio Martinez again graced the KEXP live room to share his unique blend of Caribbean folk pop and cultural activism and showcase tracks from his recently released album, Lándini. Aurelio’s musical heart beats with very personal, complexly simple tales that drip through his raspy voice and catchy cumbia melodies. The sometime politician is known as much for his arsenal of innately talented tunes as his commitment and passion to the cause of raising awareness and appreciation for Garifuna music and culture. Watch the full set of his recent session and open your ears and your heart to the magic of Aurelio.
Brooklyn electronic group Body Language will be throwing a dance party in Barboza. You need to be there.
If you are unfamiliar, jump to the band’s Soundcloud and begin familiarizing. The band has grown in leaps and bounds over the last couple years, not because they needed a ton of practice, but because even with a full band setup, they refuse to fall behind the running edge of the dance scene. Back in 2010, they were mixing disco with chill wave on Social Studies, making sultry tracks like “You Can” and winning our hearts over in the details. 2013’s sizzling R&B record Grammar was forty minutes of pure sunshine to warm up chilly autumn nights. Then last summer’s Infinite Sunshine EP was a house and disco necessity, making it one of the best dance records of the year, with or without it’s price tag of zero. But this year, it looks like Body Language are set to switch it up once again. Last month, they dropped “Really Love” as a gorgeous 7″ single, a track that mixes R&B and jungle in a rapturous banger of a track. Seriously, if we get a whole record like this, you might not make it through the whole thing with your face on straight. Read More »
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 song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “HomieZ” (feat. Outspoken) by Chimurenga Renaissance from the 2015 EP Kudada Nekuva Munhu Mutema on Brick Lane Records.
KEXP has our TV eye set for this week in late night television. Set your DVR, TiVo, or just drink some coffee to stay awake for these musical guest performances on your favorite talk shows. Here are the highlights:
Monday, February 16th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Kishi Bashi
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloe Blacc & Blackstreet
Late Night with Seth Meyers: Two Gallants
The Late Late Show: “Weird Al” Yankovic
Conan: Cold War Kids (R)
Tuesday, February 17th:
Late Show with David Letterman: Twin Shadow
Friday, February 20th:
Last Call with Carson Daly: The Budos Band (R)
Saturday, February 21st:
Austin City Limits: Gary Clark Jr. and Alabama Shakes
NPR Music is currently streaming the forthcoming release from local ladies THEESatisfaction. Get a sneak peek at the album EarthEEhere, out February 24th via Sub Pop Records. The album features guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces, as well as Meshell Ndegeocello. Be sure to tune in to KEXP on Monday, February 23rd for a LIVE in-studio session from THEESatisfaction at 1 PM PT. KEXP presents their album release show on Thursday, February 26th at Neumos. [Stereogum]