The Revolution will be Funkified: On Khruangbin’s “Maria También”

Chris Daly takes a look at "Maria Tambien," the new single from Houston funk band Khruangbin.
By    November 7, 2017

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Chris Daly is cooking Thai soul for dinner.

If there’s any justice in the world, Khruangbin is already one of your favorite bands. The Universe Smiles Upon You is the best album of the past few years that not nearly enough people have heard, and their contribution to Bonobo’s Late Night Tales entry is a thing of beauty.

Mark Speer is one of the finest pure guitarists playing today, bassist Laura Lee brings a style and power that is undeniable, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson provides a steadying presence that ties their Thai/surf/soul sound together. However, if you are one of the uninitiated, I am confident that their latest single and accompanying video for “Maria También” will make you an immediate fanatical convert.

Taken from their upcoming album, Con Todo El Mundo, “Maria También” is another slow burner from the Texas trio. Lee lays a solid bass line while Speer engages in his subdued yet simultaneously fiery finger work. The video itself is a montage of Iranian women prior to the revolution of 1979, dancing against backdrops, presenting a whole new perspective that likely will prove unfamiliar to most Western viewers. There are no head scarves or veils or any of the trappings that most Americans at least associate with Middle Eastern women. Instead, these ladies are freely expressing themselves, perfectly synced to the Khruangbin track.

Towards the end of the video, however, each of the women are edited out of the scenes before ending with a more contemporary image of a mother and her daughter covered essentially from head to toe, representing the progressive strides the culture arguably has lost over the intervening years. Powerful stuff for a groove that’s made for body moving. Watch the video, anxiously await the new album and check out the back catalog immediately. You can thank me later.