Comprised of a guitarist, a DJ, and a percussionist, EKD have opened Japan dates for globe-trotting rabble rousers such as France’s Manu Chao and Spain’s Obrint Pas. This year, the Tokyo three-piece have showcased their infectious multicultural tunes in Europe and also performed at Fuji Rock. Praised by local critics for their spirited live shows, some scribes picked EKD’s closing set on Fuji’s tiny Naeba Shokudo stage as one of the fest’s best performances.
“Bon Voyage!” is EKD’s third full-length. A call of “uno, dos, tres” ushers in the laid-back acoustic rhythms of the instrumental title track. The disc gains steam with the third song, “Cumbia Del Inmigrante,” a fantastic number featuring a style that blends Spanish, Colombian and African folk and dance music together. Italy’s Rude Hi-Fi (who mastered “Bon Voyage!” at his current home base in Gemany) provides guest vocals on that cut, his singing and rapping adding even more positive vibes to the already uplifting instrumentation. The excellent “Adios Babylonia” melds elements of Latin and surf rock, while “Cosmopolitan” has EKD delving into dub. Listening to the high-energy, samba-infused “Chango,” it is easy to understand why the band had weary Fuji revelers excitedly bopping around in mud puddles at midnight on a Sunday night. EKD make party music, and “Bon Voyage!” is brimming with plenty of quality material to keep listeners grooving along.