The KBCS is a group of four musicians from Hamburg who had been primarily working as sidemen and session musicians. The quartet, consisting of Lucas Kochbeck on drums, Nicholas Börger on keyboards, Lar Cölln on guitar, and Daniel Stritzke on bass, came together a couple of years ago to release their first LP, Phô Sessions Vol. 1. They are now back to solidify and expand upon that sound with their sophomore album, Color Box.

What started as a series of jam sessions that were recorded remotely during lockdown soon gave way to a full-length album the more these four musicians kept playing with each other. When you listen to Color Box, you’ll understand why, because this quartet has excellent chemistry together. There is a shared love of jazz, soul, funk, R&B, and hip hop that comes across, but more than anything, you really get a sense that these are four musicians that really understand each other musically and now how to communicate with their instruments. They also know how to balance their love of jam sessions with making the music palatable to a more pop audience, so there is also a really important skill set in self-editing taking place here from track to track. The grooves they lay down are undeniable, and the smooth and soulful sounds they are cooking up are really intoxicating. What takes the album up a notch is the way in which they carefully spread out some key vocal collaborations, making for some real treats when Nneka, Olivier St. Luis, J.Lamotta, Bowie, and Lui Hill all stop by to get in on the fun and give the album the jolt of pop-friendly sing-along tracks that work alongside the instrumental jams. The whole thing comes together to form this warm and soulful affair that is just really easy to listen to.

Color Box is The KBCS really coming into their own as a quartet and realizing their potential to make soulful albums that bring in the best of jazz and pop musicality. The album is full of incredible musicianship and great grooves, but also delivers some great R&B/hip hop/pop moments as well.