Rationality in electronic music isn’t really all that necessary and doesn’t usually go into the process of crafting a song. When you think about the kind of hooks that make you dance or viscerally very happy it sometimes is because it reminds you of a specific moment. Often times it is situational: you hear a good beat when you’re on the dance floor or with your partner and you run with it. You don’t think of how it’s structured and you probably don’t dwell too much on why you feel the way you do. In the Brooklyn based minimalist electronic duo KoBu’s new EP It Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This the group raises questions about this sort of rationality and cynicism we deal with in our everyday life.
The EP is 5 songs long, starting with “Bless Up,” a track that starts off with the jarring vocals of Kahiem Rivera and a dreamy sampling of jazz horns. As Riveria cuts out, the focus is put on Tara Amber, the primary vocalist and pianist. Amber asks us to come “somewhere over the rainbow” with her. It’s less of a plea and more of Amber wanting to get away from it all, to leave monotony and get “jittery.” The album then turns to “Bushwick,” which documents life in the neighborhood in Brooklyn through an equally cynical and ennui plagued view of the world. It’s a song that’s told through a gorgeous synth hook and sampling of street sounds. “Bushwick,” is the most urgent song on the EP, it can be a little heavy handed lyrically but is ultimately a smartly executed track.
“119” proves to be a standout track, opening with Amber’s stand alone jazz piano and stunning vocals. The track takes its time, working its way into a lush hook about 3 minutes in, accompanied by a steady synth driven drumbeat and an eerie vocal sample. It Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This is a short and sensual endeavor into the strange but complementary worlds of jazz, minimalist electronica and r&b. It is a record that takes itself seriously, but is equally aware of how that attention to cynicism can be a problem. Ultimately, through all of the introspective questions the record poses, it asks its listeners to dance and kiss. It wants you to have a good time, man.
It Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, and Spotify.