Pool Cosby isn’t your typical band, and MMHMM isn’t your typical remix album. In an era where anyone with GarageBand can create a passable remix, Brooklyn’s Pool Cosby turns the mash-up genre on its head, and in turn creates something entirely organic and fresh. While the White Pandas or Girl Talks of the world rely heavily on computerized beats and blistering EDM freak outs, Pool Cosby makes smooth beats out of live instruments intertwined with hip hop and soul samples, never relying on any clichés.
Pool Cosby is Joseph Caravalho (producer/sampler), Kevin Kuh (Violins), Kristine Kruta (Cello), and Nacor Zuluaga Morelo (bass and drums), and MMHMM shows the band working together as a cohesive unit, capturing their live energy better than anything the band has released thus far in their young career.
The album starts out subtly, as far as instrumental aesthetics go, but then again, introducing your remix album with a classic Sam Cooke sample is anything but subtle. It’s a bold mission statement that says while the likes of Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers, and Sam Cooke have long ago laid the foundations of pop and soul, Pool Cosby is here to respectfully and creatively gesture to a new direction. And when it comes down to it, isn’t that what remixes and/or covers are all about?
Other artists like Danny Brown, Frank Ocean, Missy Elliot, Sigur Ros, and even Will Smith are juxtaposed and molded together throughout MMHMM, which isn’t exactly a revolutionary concept, but Pool Cosby’s ability to bring it all together and make it sound natural from song to song truly takes some skill.
MMHMM is a refreshing take on hip hop and electronic music because it never feels manufactured. The live strings and percussion found on a majority of this album and other Pool Cosby tracks add a human element that lots of electronic projects lack.
Download Pool Cosby’s MMHMM here, and be sure to see them at their next show on April 4th at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn.