Ikebe Shakedown – Kings Left Behind (2019) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Ikebe Shakedown – Kings Left Behind (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 36:33 minutes | 407 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Colemine Records

Ten years ago, Ikebe Shakedown began pushing the boundaries of instrumental music. Each new track and live set has sent them deeper into combining the primal elements of ’70s soul, raw psychedelic style, and cinematic western soundtracks with powerful grooves and soaring melodies. 2019’s, ‘Kings Left Behind’ is giving listeners more mystery and majesty than ever before.

New York septet Ikebe Shakedown play what they refer to as “cinematic instrumental soul,” which amounts to a thick, steamy brew of retro funk, psychedelic rock, and soundtracks ranging from Spaghetti Westerns to blaxploitation flicks. The group’s compositions almost always include galloping drums and hand percussion, hot horns, and simmering organ, along with additional touches such as surf guitar licks and string arrangements. Kings Left Behind is their fourth full-length, and the first taped at Hive Mind Recording, a Brooklyn-based studio built and operated by two of the band’s members, bassist Vince Chiarito and saxophonist Michael Buckley. Compared to the group’s past efforts, Kings Left Behind doesn’t seem to utilize quite as much echo or other trippy effects, and it seems a bit classier and more sophisticated. While Afrobeat will always be at the backbone of the band’s sound, particularly their polyrhythmic drumming, it’s never really been accurate to refer to them as a revival act of the genre. The unit specializes in concise tunes rather than extended, hypnotic jams, and slightly more so than past albums, this one plays like a collection of imaginary theme songs. While generally sounding cool, relaxed, and funky, there’s more of a dramatic edge to tracks like “Unqualified” and “Hammer Into Anvil,” and a slight icing of strings add tension to “Not Another Drop” and the slower, breezier “Over My Head.” “Horses” slows things down even more, with solemn trumpet taking the lead on top of a sparse rhythm which emerges out of lapping ocean waves. The album’s title track is perhaps the most bittersweet piece the band has ever recorded, yet even though it sounds like the end of a long, close relationship, it still retains a sense of optimism. ~ Paul Simpson

1. Not Another Drop
2. Unqualified
3. The Witness
4. Mary’s Corner
5. Horses
6. Hammer Into Anvil
7. Over My Head
8. No Going Back
9. Kings Left Behind
10. Not Another Drop (Reprise)