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Khruangbin (/ˈkrʌŋbɪn/ KRUNG-bin; Thai: [kʰrɯa̯ŋ˥˩.bin], เครื่องบิน) are an American musical trio from Houston, Texas, with Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Ray “DJ” Johnson Jr. on drums. The band is known for blending global music influences, such as classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Their debut studio album, The Universe Smiles Upon You (2015), draws from the history of Thai music in the 1960s, specifically from Luk thung, while their second album, Con Todo El Mundo (2018), has influences from Spain and the Middle East. Speer, Lee, and DJ also host “AirKhruang” radio shows on NTS Radio and Facebook Live. […]
Khruangbin’s musical genre is a hotly debated topic amongst critics. Mostly instrumental, the band’s sound has been described as soul, surf, psychedelic, and funk, with one website even describing them as “electronic”. The most commonly used term to describe Khruangbin’s music is Thai funk, though the band members themselves challenge the convention of genres, publicly refusing to be pigeonholed into one particular label. As music journalist Rob Shepherd noted for PostGenre, “The [name Khruangbin], which translates to “flying engine” or airplane in Thai, is perfect for their music as it often crosses borders and cultures.”