New Sound 028 \\ Ikebe Shakedown mark ten years with ‘Kings Left Behind’

19th August 2019
Ikebe Shakedown mark ten years with their new album ‘Kings Left Behind’.

Instrumental soul ensemble Ikebe Shakedown have just released ‘Kings Left Behind’, out now on Colemine Records. 

Recorded straight to tape by Ikebe‘s bassist, Vince Chiarito, the record is a testament to the band’s unity; continuing to expand on their identity as a group, whilst each musician has written and lead their own parts. 

The band have continued to home themselves at Hive Mind Recording, a Brooklyn studio built from scratch, co-owned in part by two of the bands members, Vince and saxophonist Michael Buckley

To celebrate the band’s 10 year anniversary and the release of ‘Kings Left Behind’, we get to know the band a little better. 

\\ The release of ‘Kings Left Behind’ marks 10 years of Ikebe Shakedown. Can you tell us about some of the creative milestones along the way, which have helped you transition from who you were as a band then, compared to now?

Our very first year, way back in 2009, we got invited to play a private gig in California. We’d been big fans of the L.A. band Orgone, and we booked a date to record in their studio while we were out there. Problem was, we’d just recorded our first EP, so we had two months to write an album’s worth of material. It was really fertile — we wrote really varied tunes, recorded purely live takes, almost no overdubs. It was amazing. Two years later, we found ourselves at Daptone, recording in this studio that influenced so many of us. It gave us this little extra boost, helping us really connect with this new sound we were exploring, this real instrumental soul thing. Plus the heat was broken, and it was absolutely frigid. When people started going on the road with Lee and Charles, it forced us to make the time we had together even more focused, but it also brought this tightness to the sound. And then, there was Vince taking over in the control room. That just led to a level of freedom and confidence that’s let the sound just explode.

\\ Each of the musicians on this record wrote their own parts. Do you think that’s had an impact on the overall sound of the album?

Definitely. It means we can each bring our own talents to whatever we’re writing. But we also give each other a lot of feedback, pushing ourselves to play more than just the first things that come into our heads.

\\ What tracks on the album are you most proud of and why?

Dave: I’m really proud of ‘Horses’. It takes chances that we haven’t always allowed ourselves to take, with solo instrumentation, a few effects, and a different sonic texture. The playing is fantastic, and the way it transitions and builds throughout the tune, before crumbling back to where it started, tells a true story.

\\ Can you tell us about Hive Mind? What kind of space is it and how did you harness it?

Vince: ‘Hive Mind’ is a recording studio and production house that I built with Ikebe’s saxophonist, Mike Buckley. It’s allowed Ikebe to experiment and take risks without feeling like we’re “on the clock”. There are quite a few inspiring instruments and studio gear that I’ve collected over the years that have informed Ikebe’s evolving sound. The new record, ‘Kings Left Behind’, is a testament to the growth and experimentation we’ve been able to undertake in this new environment. 

Photo Credit: Kris Wixom 

Order ‘Kings Left Behind’ by Ikebe Shakedown via Bandcamp

Read our interview with Chip Wickham: “I want to make five albums in five years”

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