Khruangbin in it’s native tongue directly translates to “Engine Fly”, generally referred to as “Airplane” and could be found somewhere in the Thai dictionary, however, it wasn’t Thailand where this surf-psych trio inaugurated the band. Straight out the 300-person town of Burton, located halfway between Austin and Houston on the Texas State Highway, it was a barn where Khruangbin began composing a collection of Thai Funk jams.
Thai Funk cassettes of the 60s and 70s brought the Houston-based group together, their varied backgrounds and influences range from gospel to hip-hop to Balearic house, even field recordings from their own travels. With bassist Laura Lee now residing in London, the band often make new music via Skype.
Khruangbin first drew attention to themselves last year when Bonobo featured their track “A Calf born in Winter” on his renowned Late Night Tales mix, which ultimately led to a record deal from label subordinate Night Time Stories. The debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ was actually recorded in the countryside barn where they first held rehearsals.
Integrating a smooth blend of calming ambience, pensive soul and sinuous funk, their debut album almost echoes similarities to a Tarantino film score. Cinematic, plush with intricacy, yet economic and well thought out in approach, Khruangbin have established themselves as key members of the surf and psychedelic resurgence.
Khruangbin perform at Patterns in Brighton on June 17 th before travelling across the pond for a 15-date tour of the U.S.
Top 3 tracks:
Words: George Walker