'KB Mixtape No. 2' / Karate Boogaloo
Image captured by Greta Richmond.
After the success of KB Mixtape No. 1, which reimagined regularly sampled soul tunes in a lawless chill-funk, the four-piece outfit have filled the hole in Melbournians hearts with KB Mixtape No. 2, released via Hopestreet Recordings. This time Karate Boogaloo, who also comprise the rhythm section of the Cactus Channel, have reconfigured 80’s classics (which have been sampled in countless hip-hop tracks) through the lens of left-field wobbly indie-funk.
The mixtape features nine tracks of reinterpretations of artists including Suzzane Vega, Sister Nancy and Mtume amongst other icons. In Tom’s Diner, KB trades vocal riffs for psychedelic acid lines; in Bam Bam the delay heavy reggae groove is traded for haunting synths. A hushed, muffled tone pervades all the tracks due to the idiosyncratic Boogian method of recording onto tape without plugins or edits and releasing exclusively in mono. The end product is a unity of subdued cohesion with each track consistent in its wonky, tropical flavour.
A personal favourite rendition is Patti LaBelle’s ‘Love, Need and Want You’. Perhaps since Nelly’s use of the sampled hook in Dilemma ft. Kelly Rowland is a guilty pleasure of mine, perhaps since Karate Boogaloo transform the up-beat R&B hit into a down-tempo lounge track dreamy with nostalgia. All in all, it’d be silly not to keep a keen eye on the outfit in anticipation of their next mixtape, or ahead of their performances at festivals this Summer including Meredith 2019.
Words by Margarita Bassova