Combining tribal rhythms with eerie soundscapes and improvisation. That's one way of describing the Italian multi-instrumentalist/producer KARU. But that still wouldn't do his sound justice. It's free, slightly dark, and filled with a curious sort of mystique.
Alberto Brutti aka KARU is an Italian multi-instrumentalist and producer who's been exploring the realms of free jazz, tribal culture, and electronic production with this project. 'karu' is a Swahili word and means 'chaos, but is also associated with a mythical figure who naively heals people through music. An excellent chosen name for the sound of this project.
KARU takes inspiration from the 1960's revolutionary free-jazz movement, of artists such as Charles Mingus and Alice Coltrane, but contemporary hip hop grooves a la J Dilla are also audible. This gets mixed with ancestral, hypnotic polyrhythms, plus the use of samplers and drum machines on top of all of that makes it their distinctive unique sound.
The first single 'Upya' was released in 2020 and started this experimental adventure. Which led to the album Kuru in the same year. It was well-received on global radio and got featured in places like Bandcamp and Music Is My Sanctuary.
Since the album they've released a limited 7" in 2021 that included two incredible renditions of Nina Simone's 'Blackbird'. They delivered these covers in ways you surely haven't heard this song before. It encapsulates "senses of fear and solitude, induced by the current global context, eventually turning them into a universal idea of freedom and change." Which is deeply felt when listening to it. Give it a go.
"Bringing together the disruptive abstraction of jazz with the sophistication of classical composition"
Back in November 2021, KARU performed a special set at the Commerce bookstore in Milan for Milan Music Week. The musicians performing in the video are Alberto Brutti (double bass), Mario D’Alfonso (saxophone), Andrea Di Nicolantonio (guitar), and Cristiano Amici (drums). The mixing & mastering was done by Stefano Santi. We've got the honors to premiere the opening track of this show, which was a tribute to the late great MF DOOM's track 'One Beer' and the original sample by the French jazz-funk outfit Cortex' 'Huit Octobre 1971', originally released in 1975.
The full performance will be out on March 10th, 2022 via Beat Machine Records.
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