New York multi-instrumentalists Ikebe Shakedown mix cinematic Spaghetti Western sounds with 70s soul and dreamy surf to create the perfect soundtrack for the unwritten Tarantino movie of your imagination in their latest record, Kings Left Behind.
Recorded to tape in their self-built studio in Brooklyn, Ikebe Shakedown’s fourth record is practically like crate-digging through Quentin Tarantino’s private record collection. They’ve crammed elements of 1970’s soul, raw psychedelia, 1960’s surf and cinematic western soundtracks into concise tracks stuffed with soaring melodies and powerful grooves. The end result: a record that’s made for long summer drives, late night lounging and celebrations at sundown.
Each track on the album seems to explore different soundscapes but from start to finish each track blends effortlessly together, cemented by potent percussion, clever rhythm and bold brass. ‘Not Another Drop’ starts the album on a high note – echoey guitar meets powerful percussion and smoking hot horns. ‘Unqualified’ is a real ‘get down’ moment – reminiscent of classic Northern Soul and Motown tracks but in an instrumental form.
A more languid tempo is provided in the form of ‘The Witness’ and ‘Mary’s Corner’ – both of which are all about their mind-bending guitar sections and afro-beat rhythm combination.
‘Horses’ is the Clint Eastwood of the album – Spaghetti Western-style horns and ambient lead guitar shoot it out in a desolate desert landscape before giving into each other for a powerful but harmonious ending. ‘Hammer into Anvil’ is the album’s heaviest and most psychedelic moment with driving percussion, fuzzy guitar and bold horn sections.
‘Over My Head’ is easy – slightly sleazy – listening that combines shimmering strings with a superb saxophone solo to create one of the stand-out tracks of the album. Propelled by popping drum beats and more western-style horns, ‘No Going Back’ is the hero of the album galloping off into the sunset as the album draws into a close. The final track ‘Kings Left Behind’ is a feel-good little outro tune that reminds us that Ikebe Shakedown are just a soul band from Brooklyn, New York.
Kings Left Behind is the kind of record that music fans could have a field day dissecting every part of each song – drawing on the myriad of influences from some of the finest records and film scores ever made.
But at the same time, it has an identity of its own; defying genre or classification, making it perfect for anyone simply looking to sprinkle their playlist with a few uplifting soulful sounds this summer.
Kings Left Behind was released on Friday 16th August on Colemine Records
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