Dating back decades, through the hands of Jamaican record producers and New York City disco enthusiasts, the art of remix has long acted as a song’s extension. While some completely deconstruct an idea or sound, other approaches breathe dynamic energy, transforming tunes for the dance floor or even new ears.
On June 24, Houston, Texas multilingual trio Khruangbin announce their own interpretation of the remix album, Mordechai Remixes. The project, a carefully crafted mosaic of world music influence, is due digitally on August 6 and physically on October 29.
Khruangbin—comprised of bassist Laura Lee, guitarist Mark Speer, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson—hand-selected each remixer for the forthcoming project. Sifting through artists based on cosmic connection, personal friendship, or simply mutual musical appreciation, the trio gathered a refined group to reimagine their 2020 album, Mordechai.
Kadhja Bonet, who lends her creamy soprano flutters to “Father, Mother Bird,” was a fan, along with house legend Ron Trent. Harvey Sutherland and Ginger Roots have both toured with the band, Anderson .Paak and NxWorries. Collaborator Knxwledge sampled “White Gloves” on a mixtape, Natasha Diggs and Soul Clap are recent friends of the band, Quantic is a mutual friend of Bonobo, who is crucial in the band’s origin story and Bill Brewster, one half of the DJ duo Mang Dynasty, has known Lee for years. Plus, Brewster wrote the album’s inner sleeve gatefold notes.
Navigating the labyrinth of a Khruangbin track is no easy task. The global music pioneers created an entire universe in which they seem to function telepathically in the way the genre-bending music is composed, arranged and played to the audience. To mess with their delicate ecosystem can invoke feelings similar to that of an unwanted guest crashing a good-time party. But Khruangbin reassures, “We write our music to be interpreted; this is another wonderful interpretation of the music. There is something very vulnerable about letting others work on your music. But through the correspondence with the different artists, we gained a bigger connection to the songs themselves.”
A recurring visual theme, and further tethering of the remixers to the band, Laura Lee has also hand-drawn inner gatefold illustrations of each remixer. Over the past couple of months, Khruangbin has been in the process of releasing a very limited number of 12” records in select record stores, with no promotion —honoring the electronic music sphere’s word of mouth tradition of releasing music.
On Sunday, June 27, the band will debut their Khruangbin Curates live set on Boiler Room with three sets from Mordechai remixers—Kadhja Bonet, Felix Dickinson and Ron Trent.
There is more to come from Khruangbin this summer and fall, including festival performances at Newport Jazz, two headlining shows at Red Rocks, three sold-out nights at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, and Atlanta’s The Eastern, III Points Festival, Outside Lands, and more. The band recently announced a two-night run at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall in March 2022. Check out tickets and tour dates here.
Listen to the new “Pelota (Cut A Rug Mix)” remix by Quantic, below. Pre-order/Pre-Save Mordechai Remixes here.
Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana