Skerik, the enduringly saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast is joined by three of his fellow Seattle hometown's most revered players: Andy Coe on electric guitar, Evan Flory Barnes on upright bass and Dvonne Lewis on drums.
In Skerik's words, "I've always been inspired by Fela Kuti and Steve Reich, which sparked the idea to start a band built around rhythmic and minimalist concepts. It's not about soloing so much as creating a polyrhythmic weave with the four instruments. Music that is danceable but also interesting to listen to."
A bold assertion, but one for which the music bears witness. Together, the quartet syncopates and snakes, floats free and snaps tight with hypnotic afrobeat rhythms, minimalist canons and improvised harmonics. There's a duality that demands listeners both dance and get lost in the sound.
On Bandalabra's debut album Live At The Royal Room, captured at the band's first public performance, the foursome head into the deep unknown, creating music in the moment for over 60 minutes straight. Halfway through the evening, they hit upon the illest of psych grooves, appropriately dubbed "Beast Crusher." Here the visceral and cerebral become one, and Skerik's Bandalabra is born a fully realized vision.