Brooklyn-based Super Hi-Fi mixes jazz-inflected trombones, the rhythmic landscapes of Jamaican dub and touches of afrobeat, funk and rock for a unique and heady mix memorably described as an ‘imaginary soundtrack from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Specials and Led Zeppelin.’ Led by bassist and composer Ezra Gale, whose last outfit, the San Francisco-based Aphrodesia, took their take on afrobeat all the way to Femi Kuti’s Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria, Super Hi-Fi has been creating waves in the fertile New York music scene since 2010 and released their debut full-length album, “Dub To The Bone” (Electric Cowbell Records), in 2012.
The band’s unique double trombone-led sound, equally at home at a raucous dance party or an intense listening session, applies the improvisatory dub mixing approach to live performances of the band’s original compositions. It’s led to shared stages with John Brown’s Body, Rubblebucket, Beats Antique, Debo Band, Meta and the Cornerstones, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad and many others at venues like the Brooklyn Bowl, Maxwell’s, the Mercury Lounge, the Rocks Off Concert series and elsewhere. They’ve been active collaborators in the diverse New York music scene, hosting the popular monthly “Afro-Dub Sessions” at Rose Live Music in Williamsburg in 2011 that featured collaborations with everyone from DJ’s like Subatomic Sound System and Ticklah to former Liquid Liquid vocalist Sal P., and recently made it to the final round of WNYC’s annual “Battle of the Bands” at the legendary Greene Space.
The debut full-length, ‘Dub To The Bone,’ was crowned ‘Best Reggae album of the year’ from NY Music Daily and the #1 album of the week from the NY Daily News (Dec 2, 2012).
The band’s first release, the 7″ vinyl “Single Payer” (Electric Cowbell Records), was recorded by Brooklyn dub legend Prince Polo and received raves (“warm, enveloping, and heavy as lead” said Reggae Vibes) with a B-side of a radically deconstructed remix from Brazil-based dub producer Victor Rice. The band also released a split 7″ with Seattle’s Polyrhythmics featuring the “cinematic afro-dub” of “We Will Begin Again,” which Splinters and Candy called “Eerie, reminiscent of Rico Rodriquez work on the Specials’ Ghost Town.”
Proving that their music is at home in the holidays, the band has released not one but two Christmas albums- “Yule Analog Vol. 1- A Very Dubby Christmas” (2014), and “Yule Analog Vol. II- An Even Dubbier Christmas” (2015). Both are re-imaginings of Christmas classics like “We Three Kings,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “The Christmas Song” and others with blasting trombones, swirling tape delay and ass-shaking wallop. Both albums were critically acclaimed even from Scrooges like the music website InForty, who wished “If only shopping malls were blasting this every holiday season”! The albums led to performances for raucous crowds of drunk Santas at SantaconNYC.
Super Hi-Fi is currently in the studio (seriously, as you read this, it’s a good bet they’re probably there) mixing their original follow up full-length LP, due very soon, or maybe they’re mixing the soon-to-be-released Nirvana tribute EP, or maybe the Beatles/Police combo 45 due for the next Record Store Day, or maybe they’re just adjusting the delay on the Echoplex and twisting knobs on the mixing board for no good reason at all.
Rick Parker, Alex Asher- trombones
Jon Lipscomb- guitar
Ezra Gale- Bass
Madhu Siddappa- Drums