Award winning Austrian Band Shake Stew combine hypnotic grooves and their trademark high-energy style with a more subtle and deeply spiritual vibe on their sixth album Lila. Working with spoken word artist Precious Nnebedum and producer Marco Kleebauer for the first time, the album offers 5 previously unreleased songs as well as a pulsating live session.
The band’s unusual configuration of 2 drummers, 2 bass players and 3 horns remains, as does the line up of Johannes Schleiermacher, Mario Rom and Astrid Wiesinger make up the wind section with Nikolaus Dolp and Herbert Pirker on drums and Lukas Kranzelbinder and Oliver Potratz on bass.
‘Lila’ sees Kranzelbinder fulfill a long-held ambition to work with Viennese producer Marco Kleebauer (Bilderbuch, Sharktank, Leyya). Like Kranzelbinder, he is a key figure in the Austrian music scene and although their musical paths have been very different the collaboration just clicked. On several tracks we hear Kranzelbinder's now familiar multi-layered compositions supplemented by Kleebauer’s sound layers pushing the door wide open to a new musical chapter of Shake Stew, but not at the sacrifice of band’s trademark sound. Another exciting collaboration is that with spoken word artist Precious Nnebedum, who grew up between Nigeria and Austria and features on ‘Not Water But Rest’. Initially recorded with the whole band it was only when Kleebauer began work on it that the idea to include spoken word emerged. Nnebedum was so inspired by the music that she wrote the lyrics overnight on what has become a stand out track on the album.
On ‘Shasta Fey’ – one of 3 live tracks – the hypnotic grooves and trance-like passages associated with the band jump to the fore. On a repetitively rippling carpet of drums and guembri, bassist Potratz is given seemingly endless space to fully unfold with his Bass VI (bass instrument, which has 6 strings like the guitar, but is tuned an octave lower and was mainly used in the surf music of the 60s and 70s). The title reflects the strong influence of the film world on Kranzelbinder's music, as Shasta Fey is a character from Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice and the track ‘Detroit’ is an homage to a scene in Jim Jarmusch's film Only Lovers Left Alive. Both films have already served as inspiration for several pieces.
The title track and first single ‘Lila’, takes a gentler path showcasing Kranzelbinder's instinct for melody and instrumentation and is the band's shortest – but perhaps also most concise – piece to date. ‘Detroit’ captivates with a dialogue between the kalimba and drums until Kranzelbinder also dives in with his guembri (Moroccan bass lute). The track also forms the transition to a more playful part of the album and the three live tracks, ‘Heat’, ‘Shasta Fey’ and ‘Breathe’. Recorded in a small venue in Vienna last year they capture the excitement and thrill of the band’s now legendary live shows with ‘Breathe’ ending the album with a collective exhale. As Kranzelbinder explains, "when you run a long distance, there is often the recommendation not to stop immediately at the finish, but to go out slowly. This is exactly how I feel about Breathe.”
released October 13, 2023
Lukas Kranzelbinder - Double Bass (1,2), Guembri (3,4,6)
Astrid Wiesinger - Alto Saxophone, Kalimba (3,4,5)
Mario Rom - Trumpet
Johannes Schleiermacher - Tenor Saxophone, Flute (1)
Oliver Potratz - Fender Bass VI
Nikolaus Dolp - Drums (2,3,5), Log Drums (1,3,4)
Herbert Pirker - Drums (1,3,4,5), Percussion (1,3,5)
Special Guest: Precious Nnebedum - Voice (1)
(c) 2023 by Lukas Kranzelbinder
Published by Traumton Musikverlag
All compositions written by Lukas Kranzelbinder except "Breathe" written by Johannes Schleiermacher and Lukas Kranzelbinder
Lyrics for "Not Water But Rest" written by Precious Nnebedum
All tracks recorded in November 2022 at Westbahnstudios Vienna by Markus Wallner except "Not Water But Rest" recorded by Markus Wallner and Marco Kleebauer
Additional recording for "Lila" by Marco Kleebauer
"Not Water But Rest" and "Lila" mixed and produced by Marco Kleebauer
"Detroit", "Heat", "Shasta Fey" and "Breathe" mixed by Markus Wallner
Additional producing on "Detroit" by Marco Kleebauer
Mastering by Sam Irl
Artwork by Schorsch Feierfeil
MUSIC VIDEO "LILA"
Dancer, Choreographer: Tamara Mayr
Director, DP, Editor: Rupert Höller
Color Grading: Manuel Portschy
Austrian band Shake Stew has become something of a phenomenon. With their premiere at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2016 and their
debut “The Golden Fang” they seemingly exploded into the scene out of nowhere. Since then their high energy mixture of hypnotic afrobeat and jazz grooves has made them enormously successful not only on home turf but across Europe. Their 6th album LILA is out in October 2023!...more
I normally only listen to electronic music, but after listening to this album months ago I found it kept calling out to me. Now after purchasing it I can see why. I am totally addicted to its beauty and harmony. Thank you so much for the wax version, as it is the only form of music I collect. kaosskid