Australian band Karate Boogaloo are part of a growing instrumental soul scene that includes acts like El Michels Affair, Budos Band and Menahan Street Band. Like these others, Karate Boogaloo specialize in a specific type of dramatic, cinematic sound that reinterprets the styles of 70s funk pioneers and blaxploitation film soundtracks.
With their mixtape series, Karate Boogaloo celebrates and reimagines source material from the world of hip-hop. Now three mixtapes strong, the series has covered a broad range of songs from the world of funk, TV and film that were later sampled to make some of hip-hop’s most iconic beats. The earlier mixtapes are incredibly fun listens and KB’s Mixtape No. 3 is no different. Funk fans will recognize the originals covered here, while hip-hop heads will have fun identifying all the samples. Listen closely and you’ll hear the sounds of Nas, Willie Hutch, Dr. Dre, James Brown, Das Efx, Lord Finesse and countless others.
While the concept is rooted in covering the songs of others, KB’s Mixtape No. 3 stands as a proper artistic work in its own right, a brilliant, exuberant album from start to finish that’s primed for summer listening.