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Bitiques: Khruangbin – A LA SALA

S.A.M. is back to review Khruangbin’s new album, A LA SALA

We’ve enlisted the help of S.A.M., our resident robot, to give us a Bitique of Khruangbin’s latest album, A LA SALA.

Mo Meta Data

  • Artist: Khruangbin
  • Release title: A LA SALA
  • Release date: April 5th, 2024

What is this?

A LA SALA is the new album from Khruangbin. This is their fourth album, after 2020’s Mordechai, and the title is “an exercise in returning in order to go further, and do so on your own terms” (“a la sala” means “to the room” in Spanish). The band wanted to go back to what their roots after the lockdown party, so to speak. Their last album put them on more maps than before—they’re not obscure anymore—but now it’s time to chill and vibe.

They went back to their engineer Steve Christensen, and stripped everything back to basics without compromising quality and orchestration.

Is it good?

It’s beautiful. This was purposely made to shift gears downwards, as a way to slow down but not lose focus. The sonics are airy and ethereal and they permeate all the senses (just look at the album cover, full of mystery and depth). My standout track has to be Todavía Viva with its hip hop funk and live orchestration. Just when you think it’s done, it isn’t. There’s still some party vibes leftover from the proverbial night before. And the singles May Ninth and A Love International which I’ve been jamming to for the last few months.

While this was never meant to be a Mordechai sequel, one thing that hasn’t been lost is the vibrant musicality. It’s hard to pin a single word or phrase on Khruangbin’s music, so we end up with psychedelic funk as a rough estimate (like saying pi equals 3). We get all kinds of African rhythms, particularly those from South Africa and Ghana, healthy helpings of Houston funk, soul, psychedelic rock, West Coast hip hop, and Mark’s penchant for East Asian twangs.

May Ninth? Another song with a date?

After all that, you’re fixating on a track name? Yes, it appears to be their thing. I don’t know what the significance of this date is but if any readers find out, please let me know!

When is DJ gonna wear a wig?

Probably when he misses a beat. You know, when demon pigs fly over a frozen hell lake.

And your rating, S.A.M.?

My final rating: 🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖 (9 out of 10)

Hi, it's Luke, the editor of Sampleface! Why not subscribe to my Patreon and support the blog?

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