Mention the name DOOM to certain people – London gig promoters especially – and you’ll elicit a range of responses, most of which would be non too pleasant after a couple of recent no shows. In spite of this, his production continues to be sought after, with Masta Ace being the latest in a long line of rappers to rhyme over select cuts from his Special Herbs instrumental series.
However no one has remixed and sung over them – until now. Hawaiian based singer, songwriter and producer Karen Be has definitely brought something new and creative to the table with her EP.
Molding Doom’s lo-fi blunted abstract production into fresh and interesting arrangements is no easy task but it’s done throughout the five tracks without relying on the original beats to carry the project. Combining electro influences with bass heavy beats and a feisty Caribbean flavored vocal delivery strike a good balance on the highlight “Shake” – reminiscent of the more experimental moments on Santigold’s debut album.
Another high point comes in the form of “Light It Up” – which cleverly incorporates the same Subway Theme break from the Wildstyle soundtrack that Nas used for his “Genesis” on Illmatic. The surreal “KatDoomBe” features a guest appearance by the bass god himself Mr Thundercat; his contributions dovetail nicely with the cool, spacey pitched up phrasings of Be’s distinctive vocal’s.
The concept works as the myriad of influences on display ranging from vintage jazz to electro flavored dub step blend so well with the original beats. Add a large dose of creativity and originality from the artist and you have an EP with plenty of replay value.
A guest slot on DJ Vadim’s new album Don’t Be Scared, plus collaborations with Pugs Atomz and Charlie Dark in the pipeline, suggest a bright future is in store and this EP is a fine introduction to a talented up and coming artist.