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November 19, 2023

As a lover of musical things with strings, a song that makes a double bass its centerpiece will immediately grab my attention. The title track from Austria’s Shake Stew’s newest record, Lila, does just that. Then the horns jump in and move lazily along until the drums bring it all together.

Their sound brings many influences to bear, including afrobeat and other African traditions, with elements of funk and soul to create a mesmerizing concoction. Having “stew” in the band’s name is certainly appropriate. The band also stands out for its unique lineup, in effect a doubling up of key players with two bassists, two drummers, and two sax players (and a trumpet player to round things out). African instruments like the guembri (bass lute) and kalimba also add depth to their sound.

With half of the recorded in the studio and the other half live, Lila shows off this fascinating group's diverse dynamics and dimensions. Downloading now…


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