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Today, KARU – the collaborative project of Italian double bassist and producer Alberto Brutti – has released his new full-length album titled “An Imaginary Journey” via Beat Machine Records (home to Healing Force Project, J Shadow, Maxwell Simmons and more).
KARU’s sound explores the connection between music’s ancestral rhythm in tribal culture and the freedom of jazz. Brutti’s compositions are characterised by pounding double basslines and eccentric, almost shamanic sax outbursts, which are accented with avant-garde electronic samples, and frenetic drum sections. This inimitable and idiosyncratic sound has seen early support for KARU across key tastemakers across the world such as Bandcamp, PAM Magazine, Worldwide FM, Music Is My Sanctuary, and more.
Upon announcing the album KARU shared the album’s lead single “Spears Of Leaves“. The track perfectly encapsulates KARU’s unpredictable sound by combining sampled fragments of a documentary about Afrofuturism with wild sax lines, which rupture the track’s rhythm and bass-heavy groove, making way for aberrant guitar riffing.
Speaking on the single, Brutti says that it is inspired by “the African tribe of the Dogon, inhabitants of the south-east of the African continent, who use leaves as a form of superstition and ‘spirit-stoppers’ in their funeral rituals. In this case, ‘Spears of leaves’ would be the equivalent of a thought-provoking weapon.
A fragment of the documentary ‘The Last Angel of History’ by John Akomfrah is quoted in the song, which traces the matrix of blues and blackness to narrate the Afrofuturism movement that has grown from an Afrocentric current to one of global inclusion.”
Following “Spears Of Leaves”, KARU also shared an album track titled “Purulli“. The song further displays Brutti’s borderless sound combining tight and intricate drumming with jazz-heavy guitar, and wild sax lines that repeatedly break free of their regular motif and drive the track into more experimental territory. Brutti’s groove heavy double basslines drive the track forward and exemplify the influence of Charles Mingus on his playing more so than anywhere on the record.
Speaking on the single, Brutti says that it is inspired by “the New Year festival of the Gauvajut people. It’s celebrated on the first day of September, near the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere.
Purulli is usually preceded by seven days of decorations and preparations known as ‘Emerald Week’. The night before this celebration is known as ‘Night of the Griffin’. On the evening of the celebration, families gather for dinner to thank the gods, magicians and ancestors for their blessings. Young people roam the streets at night playing drums to chase away evil spirits”
The new album “An Imaginary Journey” continues to delve further into cultural and musical exploration with further inspiration taken from the likes of the Taklamakan Desert of Xinjiang Province, China (“Niya”); The Kalam tribe of Papa New Gineau (“Kalam”); the Greek philosophy of the ‘life principle’ (“Pneuma”); the funeral rituals of the African tribe of the Dogon (“Spears Of Leaves”) and more.
It should come as no surprise that on this journey the Brutti continues to defy categorisation and pigeonholing. The artists’ name itself KARU, is taken from a Swahili word meaning chaos and is associated with a mythological character who naively heals people through music. KARU’s music takes the listener on a journey out of reality, rediscovering the ancestral impulses that connect us more deeply with sound. This is why his live shows have become unmissable experiences: sophisticated and evocative, accentuated by darker themes and sudden, improvised interludes, creating their own mythology that is yet to be deciphered.
“An Imaginary Journey” is out now via Beat Machine Records HERE
Album art | Hi-res HERE
B1. Spears Of Leaves
Alberto Brutti – Double bass
Mario D’Alfonso – Sax
Andrea Di Nicolantonio – Guitar
Cristiano Amici – Drums
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