Posts Tagged “Super Hi-Fi”
by Alex on November 29, 2012
Super Hi-Fi – “Washingtonian”
Dub to the Bone
Super Hi-Fi have been expanding the boundaries of dub ever since they released their singles “Single Payer” & “We Will Begin Again” on Electric Cowbell Records. Their dual-trombone harmonies elevate their songs with blasting attacks. Super Hi-Fi’s debut album, Dub to the Bone, is due to be released December 4th on Electric Cowbell Records. The vinyl includes a download card and some terrific remixes. This is a fine batch of killer Afro-dub funk recorded onto analog tape and enhanced by vintage effects like Echoplex and the Space Echo. Renowned dub engineer Prince Polo lays down the tracks written and produced by bassist and bandleader Ezra Gale. Ezra’s ear for a broader dub sound is evident all over Dub to the Bone and the trombones lead the line, pumping melodies over top-notch grooves.
“Trombones are like violas. They’ve always been under-appreciated instruments and even the butt of a lot of band jokes. But when you blend the tones of two trombones with the space of dub you get a deep, full sound that is both soothing and striking.” – Ezra Gale
Before the days of Super Hi-Fi, Ezra formed Aphrodesia in 2003, an Afrobeat revival band with their own signature sound. The eleven-piece group from San Francisco spent a month performing and living in Ghana in 2006, in the process traveling through Togo and Benin to Nigeria to perform at the Shrine with Femi Kuti. The band made a name for themselves combining Afrobeat, funk, dub, Zimbabwean trance, hip-hop and global pop into a scintillating blend of unique jams.
Super Hi-Fi took flight after Ezra moved back from the Bay Area to New York City in 2009. At the request of a friend, he put together a house band which quickly gained experience hosting the “Afro-Dub Sessions” monthly party at the now-defunct Rose Live Music venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These gatherings featured a host of top-flight DJ’s and producers – some of whom, like Victor Rice, Subatomic Sound System, and the Beverley Road All-Stars – contribute remixes to Dub to the Bone. The meeting of African and Jamaican sounds influenced the band’s name, as “super” is a popular word for African bands and “Hi-Fi” represents Jamaican soundsystem culture.
The members of Super Hi-Fi are involved in various projects on the side. Trombonist Alex Asher leads the Afro-rock People’s Champs and also appeared on Beyonce’s last album 4, trombonist Ryan Snow plays with rising soul stars Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, guitarist Will Graefe lends his twang to Miss Tess and the Talkbacks and drummer Madhu Siddappa holds things down for longtime Brooklyn dub explorers Dub Is a Weapon. Dub to the Bone also includes Adam Dotson of Rubblebucket on trombone on “Washingtonian,” percussionist Foluso Mimy of the Mandingo Ambassadors on “Tri Tro Tro” and Todd Perlmutter from the Blue Man Group playing drums on the “Single Player” and “Q Street” remixes alongside Gale’s Aphrodesia bandmate Chris Mulhauser on guitar.
Listen to “Washingtonian” above or on Super Hi-Fi’s soundcloud where you can find a Dub to the Bone album sampler among other tracks from the album. Don’t miss their upcoming Brooklyn performance on Thursday, December 20th at The Lab as Sound Liberation Front, Do or Dine and One Last Shag present: Armageddon-It-On with Super Hi-Fi and Rubblebucket.
by Alex on April 12, 2012
Polyrhythmics – “Pink Wasabi”
Yesterday we featured Super Hi-Fi’s A-side, “We Will Begin Again,” off this amazing new split single on Electric Cowbell Records. Be sure to read our review of “We Will Begin Again.” Today we take a closer look at Polyrhythmics’ B-side, “Pink Wasabi,” off the 45 which will be officially released on April 21st for Record Store Day.
Polyrhythmics are an original, 8-piece Afro-funk and world beat orchestra based in Seattle. They play a wide range of styles and have been taking the Pacific Northwest by storm ever since their debut EP dropped in 2010. Like Super Hi-Fi, Polyrhythmics have been releasing music on 45s and this exciting new single marks the first time they have recorded on Electric Cowbell. This exciting outfit seems a natural fit for the eclectic record label and one listen to “Pink Wasabi” reveals why. This nice slice of funk is the perfect accompaniment to Super Hi-Fi’s “We Will Begin Again.” While “We Will Begin Again” creeps along in a sweet, downtempo dub, “Pink Wasabi” picks up the chase with their own cop show groove. The horns build up this terrific song and by the end of it, you’ll be flipping the 45 over to play both sides again. This is an amazing collaboration between two incredible bands going places and a record label that continues to turn heads with their excellent releases. There are advanced copies of the single available at the Electric Cowbell Store, so get your copy before this limited pressing is sold out.
by Alex on April 11, 2012
Super Hi-Fi – “We Will Begin Again”
Spring is here and the month of April has a big day coming up for all you music lovers. Record Store Day is April 21st and there will be many special and limited releases for the occasion. Today we feature a terrific single being released on April 21st for the Record Store Day festivities. Our friends Super Hi-Fi from Brooklyn have been busy working on new material and this time around they decided to do a split single on Electric Cowbell Records with Seattle’s Polyrhythmics. Super Hi-Fi dub it up with some laid back, dual trombone nastiness on “We Will Begin Again” while Polyrhythmics kick it up with some killer Afro-funk on “Pink Wasabi.” Both songs are worthy of praise, so today we take a closer look at Super Hi-Fi’s A-side and tomorrow we will flip the 45 over for Polyrhythmics’ B-side.
This is the second time Super Hi-Fi have been featured on Splinters & Candy. Be sure to read our review of “Single Payer.” The slow dub bass introduction of this song sets the scene for “We Will Begin Again.” This tune creeps along, snaking down alleyways and corridors shrouded in mystery. Super Hi-Fi are known for their heavy, double trombone sound and this song doesn’t disappoint. There is an eerie quality to this track which is reminiscent of Rico Rodriguez’s work with The Specials’ “Ghost Town.” The label for the A-side of the single gives homage to the home of Super Hi-Fi with an image of the Williamsburg Bridge. Seattle’s Fremont Bridge is pictured on the B-side to honor Polyrhythmics. This excellent single comes with a download card which entitles you to the digital A-side & B-side of the single as well as a couple of great remixes of “We Will Begin Again” by DJ Trainwreck and Prince Polo. Be sure to hit the record stores to grab this special release before they are all gone. There are some advance copies available at Electric Cowbell Records, so don’t delay.
by Alex on February 2, 2012
Super Hi-Fi – “Single Payer” (Full Version)
Your ears will thank you on Valentine’s Day, because this February 14th Super Hi-Fi are dropping their latest single, “Single Payer” on Electric Cowbell Records. Bassist and composer Ezra Gale leads Super Hi-Fi, the double trombone dub outfit based in Brooklyn. Joining him are Alex Asher and Ryan Snow on trombones, Will Graefe on guitar and Madhu Siddapha on drums. Their debut on Electric Cowbell will leave you clamoring for more. “Single Payer” is a hearty dose of classic dub, complete with dueling trombones and a solid backbone. The UK-stepper vibe is heavy with ska and rocksteady rounding out the mix. This tongue-in-cheek political reference even features samples of Nancy Pelosi and Joe Lieberman on the cut. The 45 comes with the single as well as a remix by the legendary dub producer, Victor Rice.
Ezra Gale’s last outfit, Aphrodesia, took their afrobeat all the way to Femi Kuti’s Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. This time around, Super Hi-Fi joined forces with the Sound Liberation Front, who organizes NYC’s Dub Invasion Festival, to host the popular monthly “Afro-Dub Sessions” that featured collaborations with everyone from Subatomic Sound System to Ticklah and others. With SLF’s production help, Super Hi-Fi have put their efforts on wax. Ezra and the gang could have just given you the single, but each purchase of the 45 includes a download card where you can grab three different Victor Rice dub remixes as well as the full seven minute version of “Single Payer,” which is magnificent. If you are a fan of those trombones, you must hear the full length version to get the whole effect of the powerful ending where the horns cut loose.
Electric Cowbell will be throwing a double record release party with Spanglish, NYC’s only full-time Latin boogaloo operation, on February 16th at Zebulon in Brooklyn. Make sure you order “Single Payer” from Super Hi-Fi’s website or Electric Cowbell Records. It is also available at Academy Records and Earwax Records in Williamsburg. Forget chocolate and flowers, if you want to impress your loved one, drop this gem on them. The group has plans to keep releasing 45s, so stay up to date with their facebook page for more information.