Khraungbin “Mordechai” a Punk Noir music review by Kellie Scott-Reed @KellieScottReed

Punk Noir Magazine

Khraungbin “Mordechai” released in 2020


She was wearing wings. I saw her out of the corner of my eye, and instinctively waved my hand by the side of my head, shooing her off. But she was a human, and we were at a Khraungbin concert.

Keep this in mind as you experience “Mordechai”, the 2020 release and the third, from Khraugbin the trio from Houston, Texas. This album is all about space, about funk and weaving a complex tapestry of Latin rhythms, African guitar notes, and now, vocals that are never heavy, but light and airy. This tip of the hat to the disco clubs of the 70’s is never pandering nor does it imitate. It has a hallucinatory quality with staying power. Its out of the usual, but not far from home.

Even more than before Laura Lee’s bass and Donald ‘DJ Johnson Jr.’s steady complexity of beats hold it all down, giving the melody depth and purpose as it takes you on a ride into the stratosphere. This is where Mark Speer soars in and out of your consciousness and has you in the palm of his hand with his sensual bird-like riffs.
On the the track “Pelota” you are taken in by the global sound and transported somewhere else, a celebration in a place you may never have been but feels familiar.
“So We Won’t Forget” is a favorite of mine on this album and there is a nostalgia, a far away sound in the production-like hanging outside the club, hearing the beat you know and love with the vocals coming in like memory.

This release has it all for me, and I think for most. Drawing from their experience and adding just a dash of vocals, Mordechai is both earthy and cosmic. Standing on it’s own two feet, with a telescope tilted skyward-
Kind of like the wings on that earth bound girls back, that shouldn’t be able to lift her; but they might.