REVIEW: Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

I would say that most of the music I listen to has a rather large sound. I like big, powerful albums with lots going on at every moment. Despite my maximalist tendencies, there’s a special place in my heart for those albums that just let you peacefully sit in them. These are the albums that soothe the soul by leaning into the quiet, and by carefully picking each sound. When that mood strikes, I often turn to Khruangbin, a band that hits you like a ray of sunshine on a slow day. Their second record, Con Todo El Mundo, is just what the doctor ordered if you’re feeling even a little bit stressed out.

The Texas trio has come to us with another round of 1960s Thai funk-inspired tunes that will float your mind down a lazy river. On this album, patience is the name of the game. These slow grooves lean way off the back of the beat, lending the listener a piece of the serenity that oozes out of each and every note. Con Todo El Mundo also features a couple higher-paced funk songs which serve to drive the energy up a notch, but do not disrupt the laid-back nature of the album.

Don’t let the ease of the music fool you, this band displays a tight, careful talent at every turn. Donald “DJ” Johnson is a drummer that picks his beat deliberately, leaving lots of space for ambiance while still putting a ton of spice in his step. Laura Lee’s bass lines are a prominent anchor, as is proper in funk, and she is the source of Khruangbin’s flow. Again, she is not the player that fills the air with notes. Precise harmony and impeccable timing are just what she needs to give Khruangbin its richness. Finally, Mark Speer’s light guitar work isn’t in-your-face, but contains understated deftness and gorgeous phrasing. These three lock-in to each other completely, forming an unstoppable unit of groove.

If you’re looking for something chill, look no further. Khruangbin has you covered.

~Dave

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