Ikebe Shakedown have released their second album, Stone By Stone, and it is fantastic. Listen to the full album stream above via the band's Bandcamp page, where you can also buy the album as a digital download, CD, and vinyl.
The New York City band has been making great '70s era afro-beat funky jazz for years. While they may not be a household name, one of their songs has been featured on an episode of Eastbound and Down on HBO. On Stone By Stone, Ikebe Shakedown shows a maturity and refined sound that makes for a pleasurable and challenging listen. You can hear traces of legendary artists like Fela Kuti, The Lafayette Afro Rock Band, and even James Brown's band The J.B.'s, as well as contemporaries like The Budos Band. Deep grooves paired with gorgeous melodies and harmonies propel this record to instant classic status.
Overall, the instrumental album is pretty dark and trippy, with a seemingly never-ending supply of energy. Even on thick and multi-layered songs, there's a feeling of propulsive energy and playfulness which holds up after repeated listens. The songwriting and production are top notch, leaving space and airiness even on those complicated tunes. Stone By Stone is appropriate for a late night dance party, driving around town, or simply background music while working or reading. Highlights from the album include "The Offering," "Stone By Stone," "By Hook or By Crook," and "Chosen Path."
For more from Ikebe Shakedown, check out ikebeshakedown.com.