Kara: Colors (Leaving Records, 2020)

September 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Kara: Colors

Kara: Colors

Devin Daniels has been playing saxophone for over a decade, and is currently studying jazz at a university in Switzerland, but he also ventures into beatmaking as Kara. His first tape for Leaving Records is a brisk set of 20 tracks which constantly stays upbeat and even celebratory, arranging inventive beat patterns and coloring them with lush sounds like harps and saxophones. The spiraling tones and skipping beats of “Kale” are carefree and light-headed without being lazy. None of these tracks sound like a bunch of samples simply thrown together, but it can be easy to overlook how complex they are, as there’s such an untroubled aura to them. Jenna Noelle lends her dreamy vocals to “Over U”, which features an incredibly detailed beat pattern and sweet, rapidly bubbling melodies, making a lot happen out of so little. The brief, slapping “scramble” sounds like a funky Speak-N-Spell beat, except it doesn’t actually use the vintage electronic toy. “Bunch a Snow” drops sweeping strings into its bumping, feel-good beat, elevating the mood further. Spinning unexpected samples into obtuse, loopy patterns, Kara expresses joy in unconventional ways on this uplifting tape.

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