Karikatura makes life-affirming, body-shaking music that moves people around the world. While the band has toured everywhere from Japan to Brazil, New York City is home. With bright horns, socially conscious lyrics and booty-bouncing beats, Karikatura delivers real songs that transcend style and genre. An organic synthesis of all the music heard blasting out of car windows and shops onto the streets of NYC, Karikatura lives where cumbia meets hip-hop, reggae meets klezmer and indie-rock meets afrobeat. Neither purist nor revivalist, this is music of the present, for the future. The band will release its debut full-length album this year, following up two EPs and DIY tours of Europe, Asia and South America.
Born on the road, Karikatura hasn’t stopped moving since. The band was conceived in South India in 2009 by Ukrainian-born, Brooklyn-bred recovering metal guitarist, Dima Kay, at the end of a life-changing journey across three continents. He returned to his adopted hometown of NYC to make the group a reality, joining forces with like-minded musicians: soulful singer Ryan Acquaotta, bassist Eric Legaspi, woodwinds maestro Joe Wilson, drummer Morgan Greenstreet, and brass-blaster Ric Becker. They hit the road, traveling from Kyoto to Berlin, via Bratislava and New Orleans, to spread the joy of music that brings people together. They are equally at home performing at a packed festival in Belgium, a Manhattan jazz bistro, a Czech punk club or the subways of Sao Paolo.
This year, Karikatura will release its debut full-length album, recorded to analog tape at Mighty Toad Studios and mixed at Strangeweather Studios by creative luminary Daniel Schlett (Bob Dylan,Yeasayer, Rita Indiana). The music on the album is as diverse as the backgrounds and life-experiences of the band-members; each member contributed songs to the album, expressing his personal vision, and the band shaped the music collectively. They write songs the way a storyteller crafts tales, exploring universal themes through personal experiences. The album is also a covert tribute to New York City, where the band spent a year of relative stasis and creative hibernation after three consecutive years of touring.
Karikatura’s debut EP Muzon launched the band on a DIY world tour for most of 2011, beginning with New Years in Japan and continuing with spring in Europe, where the band played twenty-one cities in nine countries. They were so warmly received that they returned to Europe later that year, playing 28 shows in 30 days, before closing out 2011 with a US tour from New York to New Orleans.
In 2012, Karikatura returned to Brooklyn to produce their second EP, Departures, which featured the single “Suitcase,” released with a remix by renowned dub producer Strikkly Vikkly (Victor Rice), and a music video. Before taking off for their third European tour, Karikatura spread their world-wandering sound around NYC, performing at venues such as SOBs, Nublu, Drom, Mehanata, Bembe and Spike Hill, for dancing crowds. They were also selected for the Music Under New York Program (MUNY), one of only 18 new acts chosen by the MTA out of 300 applicants for permits to perform in the subways of NYC. After just a few months with MUNY, Karikatura was invited to participate in the Red Bull Sounderground Festival in Sao Paulo, alongside other popular street music performers from around the world. They made a major impact on Brazilian audiences, instantly winning fans and building bonds for the future.
Wherever Karikatura goes, they move people with honest songs, strong rhythms and creative horns. Karikatura brings the world to New York and New York to the world, capturing the present moment, with eyes and ears wide open. At the same time, the band faces the future, with bags packed for the next adventure.