L.A. Unheard: Swahili Blonde's rainbow funk
January 13, 2012 | 2:04 pm
The band: Swahili Blonde, a rotating Los Angeles collective centered on singer-drummer Nicole Turley.
The sound: Swahili Blonde's Technicolor music embraces all shades, from the acid-washed funk of "Tiny Shaman" to the bright earnestness of A-Ha cover "Scoundrel Days." The band's fearlessly unpredictable songs are as smeared with ideas as a Jackson Pollack, splattered thoroughly with horns, synthesizers and Turley's brontosaurus percussion. "Purple Ink," a highlight of 2011 release "Psycho Tropical Ballet Pink," sounds like Broadcast playing capture the flag with Sun Ra. (Sun Ra wins, barely.)
The random: Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, Turley's husband, has been an itinerant contributor to the band, playing on the "Psycho Tropical Ballet Pink" and "Man Meat" albums. The band's shifting participants have also included members of the Like, Warpaint, Fool's Gold and Duran Duran.
The details: Swahili Blonde's 2010 debut, "Man Meat," arrives on limited-edition vinyl on Jan. 30, courtesy of Turley's own Neurotic Yell Records, with the band's seven-piece live lineup set for a show at the Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club tonight.
The music: Download "Etoile de Mer" below.
-- David Greenwald
Photo: Swahili Blonde. Credit: Sarah Sitkin