Our old friends in Super Hi-Fi have delivered another treat! The Brooklyn-based heavy dub/jazz outfit have been rumbling their way into our ears and hearts for a few years now. An instrumental ensemble (at least on recordings), their unique twin-trombone attack adds a jazzy melodicism to their bass-heavy dub attack with rock power.
Born out of the legendary Afro-Dub Sessions parties in Williamsburg, Brooklyn starting in 2011, they have delivered several solid platters: the full-length Dub To The Bone and two 45s on the eclectic Electric Cowbell label, as well as a couple of dubby X-mas themed releases that were a hit at SantaCON. And, of course, Peace & Rhythm paired Super Hi-Fi with Big Mean Sound Machine for a power single on superthick 7", adorned on the sleeve with a WALL of boom-boxes. (Grab it here, before it's gone!)
The new joint from the group, Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana, is an instrumental affair of all tunes associated with Nirvana. It's released as a cassette for the physical (grab it from Very Special Recordings) and available as a digi-DL. Hits like "Polly", "Something In The Way" and "Heart Shaped Box" get the sweet treatment, with dubsters like Prince Polo, Victor Rice, Doctor Sub and 9 Lives on hand to mix & remix the tunes. They also do what is an old Appalachian folk tune called "In The Pines" that has mutated its way through Leadbelly ("Black Gal") and found a version on Nirvana's Unplugged album with the title "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?". In the hands of SHF it becomes a squishy Vin Gordon-inspired number that would make the Super Ape proud. And there's also two versions of an original tune, penned by SHF bandleader/bassist Ezra Gale (Aphrodisia, Beninghove's Hangman, Molly Tigre, etc), called "Space Needle" that is a riddim as tuff as dreadlocked bred'ren smoking collie weed atop the Needle, overlooking the city of Seattle and hearing grunge guitars upon inhaling. A perfect meeting point between different worlds.
But the tune we are featuring here today is also a tune that Nirvana didn't write. In fact it's a tune by the '60s Dutch teenage psych rock band The Shocking Blue. Perhaps most famous for the original version of "Venus" (later a huge '80s hit with Bananarama) and quite an excellent group on the whole. They wrote the original (and, in my opinion, superior) version of "Love Buzz", a tune Nirvana covered on Bleach (and probably one of it's best tunes).
Already sporting an exotic-sounding bassline from Krist Novoselic on the Nirvana cut, Super Hi-Fi's version brings us further into Arabesque territory with their take on it. Jon Lipscob's guitar is a true delight (as it is on the entire release) and Madhu Siddappa's drumming propels it toward something different, yet still in respect to the foundational versions. Doctor Sub is on the remix and the entire tune is a too-short, but oh-so-gorgeous experience that curries the flavors and makes for my favorite tune on this set. I think "Love Buzz" and "Polly" would make a killer 45! But ALL of the tunes are ace! Whatever this band is smoking before they make their music must be pretty good shit.
Another good one from our friends in Super Hi-Fi! Check out "Love Buzz". As well, I recommend you give the whole album a listen:
Love Buzz line-up:
Rick Parker- trombone
Alex Asher- trombone
Jon Lipscomb- guitar
Ezra Gale- bass
Madhu Siddappa- drums
Remix by Doctor Sub
TWISTED features left-field cover versions of popular songs.