Friday 27 September 2013


Kero Kero Bonito. That's their name. 'Kero kero' (or 'gero gero' if you like) is the noise a Japanese frog makes (FYI: dogs go 'wan wan' not 'woof woof', also). Bonito is like... bonito tuna. Maybe? Is it? Kero Kero Bonito (ケロケロボニト). KKB. That's it. It is a group of three people from London (ENGLAND) called Sarah, Gus and Jamie and they make music. Nice music.

I stumbled across this song, called 'Sick Beat', thanks to someone on Twitter. I listened and instantly liked it. There are many likeable things about this song. However, I believe that the use of Japanese in songs, or samples from Super Mario 64, won't be for everybody: but they are for me. It is nevertheless a really cool song with a really nice message. There's a rap in it, interchanging Japanese and English, expounding the idea that girls can play videogames without the stigma of being a 'girl gamer' - it shouldn't even be an idea. Just don't be surprised that girls play games too, what's so difficult about that?

Anyway. Let's listen together〜

Starting with an amazingly utilised sample of the "ba ba ba ba ba ba" from Mario 64, the song launches into mildly swaggery beat whilst Sarah of KKB raps nonchalantly in Japanese, chucking in some English phrases for childhood references, mentioning Tomb Raider and Windows 98, all the way to the chorus which is where the heart of the song lies. It's a really catchy hook, not to mention clever in its lyrics; beginning with a challenge - "Whichever console you play / no matter how many hours a day / I could win at any game / Whether you're a boy or a girl or a supercomputer" - ending with a lament of more "girly" pursuits - "It's often said / I should get some girly hobbies instead / but that thought fills me with dread / I'm not into sewing, baking, dressmaking, not-eating, bitching, submitting [?]"

That's all done in pleasant layered vocals to the tune of some fizzing bass synth that plunks alongside marching snare drums. From the middle, the rap gets a spotlight whilst the beat lays in wait for its part in the sample-infused finale of the song. It's a straightforward like indie pop rap kinda vibe with additional appeal for its get-em-if-you-can, gotta-catch-em-all references, and the heavy investment in Japanese language. In style, it kinda reminds me of the cutesy rap that may.e did a while back, but for me, the fact that it's from England is both exciting and praiseworthy. What a global world we now live in!

This btw comes from Kero Kero Bonito's upcoming mixtape Intro Bonito out 30th September.

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  1. Ace, well-toned review. Thanks.

    It's hard to place them. I was trying to describe this group to someone and was sort of stammering at Deerhoof... Broadcast ... The Units (High Pressure Days) ... a bit of Go! Team fun ... Yamazuki (obvious). Some other songs sound distinctly 80s London pop with the ABC bass thrown in.

    Anyway, I got a blank, cartoon expression from the person I was describing them to. I think I'll point them in the direction of this page instead...

  2. Wow thank you for the kind words. Always striving to say what a song is, so that is good :)

  3. "I'm not into sewing, baking, dressmaking, not-eating, bitching, sun, knitting"

  4. What are you rambling on about fool?