April 15, 2016

Karikatura | Speak Now

ARTIST: Karikatura
TITLE: Speak Now
LABEL: Ropeadope
Karikatura is a band that sounds like an amalgam of the music you’d hear if you spent a day walking around New York City neighborhoods: it’s Afrobeat, cumbia, klezmer, hip hop and more rolled up into one young, energetic, politically engaged quintet. They delivered a killer set when they played on my radio show in July 2014, and now they’re back with an excellent new EP. There’s a lot of reggae and ska on this one: 5 is a clever version of a classic by The Specials, 2 is an original in a related vein. 4 incorporates reggae as well, but in the same way that Manu Chao and Gogol Bordello use it, as a leavening agent. So think of the track as more like Balkan reggae. And 3 is something different: it’s cumbia for the first two minutes, shifts into vintage NYC salsa dura that’s briefly interrupted by some far-out instrumental breaks, and somehow winds its way back to cumbia before the end. I really like where this band is heading – you might want to follow them there.
TOP TRACKS:    3    4

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