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.