What does Kuabee sound like?
Nordic lo-fi electronica with a splash of chiptune goodness hiding in the background.
The review of Kuabee – So It Has Come To This
I am a good six years late to this lo-fi electronica party but I write about new music discoveries to me, not just what has come out in the last year. Kuabee is the moniker of prolific game music composer Jukio Kallio (Fall Guys, Minit). He also used to be known as Kozilek but having closed that musical chapter of expression, Kuabee was born in 2016. The idea was to create a refined lo-fi electronica sound that kept it simple but classy. On Kuabee’s debut EP ‘So It Has Come To This’ he definitely succeeds.
I’m reminded of a cleaner version of Caribou mixed with a bit of Europop sensibilities when I listen to this EP. ‘This Bunch’ has a bounty of joy with the chirpy vocal riff that sounds lifted out of a Sackboy game leading the way. Alongside the house beats, we have throbbing basslines and a splash of wiry synths too. When paired with the opening track ‘Get Away’, you get the feeling that the game music influence is being worn proudly in the mix.
The title track has cheesy disco tom drum flairs over deep house rhythms. On one hand, you have a wannabe disco track but then the chord progression and vocals are far more curious and off-kilter. ‘Raskas’ is a lo-fi synthwave piece full of rounded baubles of synth drips and vocoder chords leading a distant kick drum. It’s the most ambient piece on the album but has a delicious mood. The closing piece goes 180 in the other direction. ‘Velka’ is the sole track with full (Finish) lyrics and reminds me initially of a Eurovision entry… then the anthemic guitar kicks in. It transforms the track into a dance-rock anthem and would fit right at home with Module’s ‘Shatter‘ soundtrack. It’s an anthemic finale without over-egging the pudding.
Put simply, this is great IDM. By keeping it simple, direct and focused on hooked Kuabee nails the execution of each song. It serves as a great introduction to all things Jukio Kallio if you’ve never heard of his music outside of Fall Guys. ‘So It Has Come To This’ and the Kuabee brand also stands on its own two feet as its own identity too. Anthemic.
Recommended track: Velka
Support Higher Plain Music
Higher Plain Music is part of the Higher Plain Network – a one-man indie media project. If you like what I do, please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1/£1 a month. In return, you’ll receive additional perks for supporting me, such as behind-the-scenes content and free downloads. You can also donate using PayPal. Sharing the website helps too or using the affiliate buy now links on reviews. I receive a few pence per Amazon sale. All your support will enable me to produce better content, more often. I’d love to make this a full-time media network and your support can make that happen. Thank you.