Before joining forces as King Mono, Little Shalimar and Jeremy Wilms spent the majority of their careers playing in different bands. The two initially crossed paths while working in the rhythm section for Afrobeat collective Antibalas, then went on to form their own disco group Chin-Chin. While on tour together, they reveled in their obsession with all things Casio keyboards and drum machines.
This infatuation prompted Shalimar and Wilms to break off on their own and develop King Mono as a duo, with R&B singer and Chin-Chin backup vocalist Jesse Boykins III occasionally lending his talents. Though Shalimar’s been rather busy the last few years with his own projects — he co-produced Run The Jewels’ first and second albums — the two-piece did manage to release an EP titled Straight To VHS last year. Now, they’ve found time to reconvene and ready their full-length debut, Bump In The Night, which is due to hit shelves on March 31st via Tummy Touch. In anticipation, they’ve shared their new single, “Transducer”.
“‘Transducer’ is a lightspeed boogie number containing both a science lesson and a cautionary tale about monogamy,” the band said in a press statement, adding, “It also has hand claps.” Just as the lyrical content is taken from various and decidedly disparate sources, so too does the music sound inspired by diverse genres.
There are flickering, 8-bit-like synthesizers that could easily find a home on an LCD Soundsystem record or video game soundtrack; busy beats fit for another Run The Jewels joint; and groovy, slick hooks (courtesy of special guest Boykins III) that could double as long-lost Pharrell features. It’s a jovial track that not only lets Shalimar and Wilms indulge in all their experimental keyboard weirdness, but also allows them to go back and embrace their funk roots. Listen in below.
Pre-orders for the album are ongoing. The band will host their album release party next week on March 16th at the Brooklyn Bowl with Rich Medina and Kent Odessa.