Nick Hornby described the making of a mixtape as like writing a letter — “there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do”. Infuriatingly Dublin producing talent KaraKara (A.K.A Kieran Dold) makes it sound easy with the 16 track Bully. The 22 year old has woven together 16 tracks that makes its constituent parts meld together in a whizz of electronic beats and digital goodness.
Opener ‘Press Start’ drifts in like a NES era platformer building in complexity and showing an ear for detail that gives the listener a really pleasant introduction. Its parts of the Drive soundtrack mashed up with Mario. As daft as this comparison might sound, it works a treat. There’s a marriage of electro synths and hip hop beats on tracks like ‘ET remix’ that leave you wondering what just happened there, thankfully not in a bad way. Other highlights include ‘Occupy a sofa and calm the fuck down’ & ‘The boy is fine’. At times I’m reminded of the sound of Slow Magic or a pared back Daft Punk. Whatever way you want to throw out the musical comparisons there’s talent at work here.
There’s an inventiveness and playfulness here that I really enjoyed. Bully was put together in the one sitting and manages to fit in everything from Michael Jackson samples to Katy Perry remixes. In the wrong hands it could have been a total mess. I’m not going to spend the whole review gushing, I could have done without a Seal remix and there are parts of the production that jar, but on the whole it’s a success. This particular Bully leaves you aurally battered and walks away with your lunch money. The worst thing is you enjoy the experience.
KaraKara has undoubtedly delivered a confident and at times excellent release