Kava Kava
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Kava Kava

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Press


"Live Review SXSW 2007 Philadelphia Enquirer"

"From there, after the Englishwomen in the Pipettes, and a taste of New York jagged funksters the Rapture (who are gamely bringing the saxophone back to indie rock), it was off to see Kava Kava, a band I knew nothing except that adult alternative guru Nic Harcourt had allegedly said they were groovy. (This is how a buzz begins.) Turned out they were big burly guys from Huddersfield in Yorkshire in the north of England, where love for American soul music has always been ardent. Lead singer (and trumpeter!) looked like Pierre Robert crossed with David Clayton Thomas, and was unafraid to bellow out the words "Oh Lawdy Mama!" at the top of his lungs. Excellent guitarist doing strange things wiith foot pedals a la Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, but otherwise it's a staggering (and blessedly) unhip band, with a hard-blowing horn section that reminded me of Tower of Power.

Dan DeLuca (The Philadelphia Inquirer)"
- Philadelphia Enquirer


"DJ Mag (UK)"

"........should be on every funk and disco playlist, period!...........Love it!" (4.5/5)
- DJ MAGAZINE (UK)


"Blues & Soul Mag (UK)"

"It's not often that a debut artist album grips me on first listening but the organic vibe, inspired songwriting and impeccable production of "Maui" is a jaw-dropping phenomenon"
(5/5) - BLUES AND SOUL (UK)


"Live Review BBC.co.uk"

Live review of Scarborough Beached Festival from BBC.CO.UK:

"Kava Kava is another mixed bag not afraid to experiment in what they do. They are a concoction of electric soul, funk, blues and rock. On this evidence you can tell why they’ve been round Europe, played Glastonbury and been praised by DJ magazines worldwide. The Huddersfield group are the most eclectic band of the weekend for me, which is why I liked them so much. The fact one minute they would dabble in bleeps, big beats and even horns and the next brass and strings were apparent, left the audience guessing all day long. Each song has about a zillion different phases in and these rare oddities do sound like nothing I’ve heard before"
- BBC.co.uk


"Billboard Magazine (USA) Feature"

"Despite a hard rock appearance, Kava Kava creates party-worthy music by combining rock, funk, dance and soul. After forming around the turn of the millennium, the U.K. foursome began by piecing together space rock and disco. A full-length, "Maui," was ultimately released on bandleader Pat Fulgoni's own label, Chocolate Fireguard. The label has released four artists and a handful of compilations. "It's all very time-consuming, and I'll know it's gone too far when I start answering the phone onstage," Fulgoni says. The label work hasn't yet worn him down, and the group has maintained a heavy touring schedule in Europe, including such U.K. music festivals as Glastonbury in 2003. While the act is looking for licensing and distribution opportunities in the United States, Kava Kava has already been heard on Showtime series "Weeds" and has been spun by Nic Harcourt on noncommercial KCRW Los Angeles"
- Billboard Magazine (USA) Katie Hasty


"Alt.Culture.Guide (USA)"

"Kava Kava has created a musical chimera that is equal parts P-Funk and Roxy Music, as indebted to Stax soul and the Philly sound as it is to the Manchester beat and Brian Eno. Maui is a strong antidote to the bland, lifeless music you'll hear on the radio, an energetic blend of heart and soul that will have you shuffling your feet in spite of your bad self" - ALT.CULTURE.GUIDE (US)


"Madeloud.com "Forwards" album review (Texas, USA)"

Residing somewhere around the seldom-traveled intersection of alt-rock swagger and dance club grooves, UK trio Kava Kava’s Forwards is a curious hybrid indeed. Much like the alleged effects of the band’s namesake intoxicant, the album’s style is equal parts upbeat and mellow, laced with a welcome trace of psychedelic effects. It’s a tough act to name-check – there are echoes of groups from Thievery Corporation to TV on the Radio to Pet Shop Boys, but that doesn’t quite paint an accurate picture of the Kava Kava sound.

Given all of those disparate elements, Forwards is a surprisingly straightforward album on the surface, but it’s filled with fascinating flourishes that push the proceedings to a higher level. The insistent drumbeat and fuzzy, repetitive guitar riff that open up “Everything,” for instance, are soon joined by spacey electronic effects, creating a slightly off-kilter sound that elevates what could be a fairly standard rock track to a different level. “Forwards” starts off slow and reflective, but gradually builds into a majestic swell of echo effects, wandering guitar licks and orchestral ornamentation, while “Don’t Stop the Music” strikes a funky disco tone that manages to simultaneously hint at both Robert Palmer and the Isley Brothers.

Pat Fulgoni’s vocals add another unique wrinkle. His whiskey-smooth delivery on the mournful title track brings to mind the alterna-lounge stylings of Morphine’s Mark Sandman, while the raucous “Bank Job” finds him occasionally verging on Tom Jones territory as he growls and purrs his way across a soundscape of electronic horns and DJ scratches. It’s a voice that demands to be blared over a pulsating dance floor.

As a rule, dance remix bonus tracks are one of the most disposable elements of any given album. Forwards is the rare exception, a solid album whose strengths are only amplified by a more party-minded approach. The record ends with grooved-up remixes of “Don’t Stop the Music” and “Tic” (by Andrea Fiorino and Jon Kennedy, respectively) that just accentuate the ethereal elements at the heart of Kava Kava’s appeal.

There’s a peculiar tension throughout Forwards that might be called flirtation with the mainstream. On a number of occasions, a song seems poised to erupt into radio-ready sturm und drang, only have a well-timed sound effect or sample send it spiraling off into far quirkier territory. That kind of beguiling production keeps Forwards sounding consistently fresh and engaging even after repeated listens. In these days of mash-ups and mix tapes, creating a sound out of a mélange of disparate influences is par for the course, but it’s always a thrill to hear it done as deftly as it is here. - Ira Brooker MADELOUD.COM (TEXAS)


"Indie Music Universe (USA) review of "Forwards" album"

Indie fans stop running in place. On June 23, Kava Kava, who hail from Yorkshire UK, are releasing their first U.S album, Forwards, on Midnight Swimming. Having started as a four-piece psychedelic funk band gracing the underground festival and party scene, KAVA KAVA has now expanded into a six piece force to be reckoned with — that fully realizes a distinct and unique sound that is bringing the indie music scene to its knees.

The vocals of singer Pat Fulgoni, who sounds like a masculine angel, are accompanied by a revolving line-up that includes Matt Bond (guitar), Martin Chung (bass), Chris Corrigan (drums), Steve Davies and Ian Bailey (horn section) alongside vocals, guitars, electronica, brass, strings and a funky rhythm section. The combination of lead singer Pat Fulgoni and the unified expression of sound will rip you from time and space and let you fall into a state of dream sequence. Filled with raw power and energy, this music moves. You are sure to move with it..

Fulgoni has done quite a few collaborations on his own, lending his voice to several songs released by Hospital Records and Subliminal Soup Records. The single Beliefs off of Nu:Tones’s "Back of Beyond" album reached #17 on the singles chart in the UK and featured vocals by Pat. Smooth as glass and desperately funky, Kava Kava is ripping through sound barriers and embedding themselves in mainstream culture.

KAVA KAVA ’s music has been featured in several TV series such as, JOHN FROM CINCINNATI, DIRT and WEEDS, and they have three songs on the newly released XBOX 360 snowboarding game, STOKED. What better way to build a cult following than through video games. Well earned confidence leaks through every song like sex streams from your television. Traveling from guitar solos to synthesized electronic funk to the rising sound of real instruments serenading you, every song will have you — take you out and woe you into submission.

This soon-to-be everybody’s favorite new record, Forwards, will be released in digital form only on June 23 in the US and Canada, and on vinyl in August. Get them both, and if you don’t have a record player — hang it on your wall. You will not tire of this universal music. Kava Kava will earn your dedication and keep you coming back for more. These tunes are well developed and unique — but relative and so seductive, it’s hard not to get caught in your own groove.

Kristin Anderson - Indiemusicuniverse.com


"Skope Mag (USA) review of "Forwards" album"

Much in the vein of The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method and Moby, Kava Kava toe the line between electronica and live instrumentation and meld the two into interwoven electro-rock tracks that range from agro alt to electronic-induced groove. The final product is a 10-track hybrid testament to that fact that Kava Kava know where they’re headed—forwards.

The album opens wearing its electronic facet on its sleeve with “Tic.” The nervous synth and vocal samples intro morph into spacey, head-bobber goodness. The “singing-in-a-tin-can” vocal delivery meshes well with the groove guitar work and the myriad of backing soundscapes. The track can only be labeled as full-bodied without being too “busy.” The groovy swagger gives way to the urgent assault of “Clarity.” Dark brooding synth and spoken word lyrics crescendo into auditory mayhem with a heavy rhythm section laying the foundation for distorted guitar work and various electronic clicks and clanks. “Bank Job” is another heavy-hitting track with their ubiquitous synth and keys work riding shotgun only to their soaring lyrical style. Earmarked by clever time changes and agro club beat tempo, the track sounds bound for the soundtrack to this summer’s next action flick. Title track “Forwards” is down tempo and demure, with pedal work laden guitar strums and echo chamber vocals. If the opening tracks can be compared to the likes of The Crystal Method, then this track sounds like Trent Reznor or Dirty Vegas touched it.

I tend to enjoy electronica more when it is used as a nuance rather than a major facet, but Kava Kava play to their strengths on Forwards and keep what they really do best at the forefront of the tracks. The multiple genres at their command, melded into a singular offering certainly keeps Kava Kava safe from any pigeon-holing, so if you can’t find them in your local music store, I would look in the “other” section.

Chris West - skopemag.com


"Verbicide Magazine (USA) review of album "Forwards""

It’s not every day that an album can blend influences as varied as trip-hop, T. Rex, and techno and make it all work. Kava Kava does this.

This UK sextet takes music from all over the spectrum and makes a perfectly coherent sound out of it. Even the long tracks on the album work — nothing drags. The vocals are delivered perfectly, and flex from sounding like The Zutons, to getting crossed up with performers like Kenna and Faithless. Forwards flawlessly shifts from trip-hop to brass-heavy funk to electro-rock. Even the pair of remixes and the end of the album are near perfect, with the Jon Kennedy remix of “Tic” being just spectacular. There is nothing wrong here — simply an incredible record that can be listened to for hours on end.

Garrett Lyons - verbicidemagazine.com


Discography

Kava Kava 'Forwards'
(2009 Midnight Swimming - NYC)
Kava Kava 'Tic' digital single (Chocolate Fireguard)
Kava Kava 'Bank Job' digital single (Chocolate Fireguard)
Kava Kava 'Don't Stop The Music' digital single (Chocolate Fireguard)
Kava Kava 'Maui' CD (Chocolate Fireguard)
- airplay includes Sat Bisla's "Passport Approved", Nic Harcourt's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and loads of spins worldwide
Kava Kava 'Maui' 12" vinyl sampler (Chocolate Fireguard)
Kava Kava 'Bank Job' 12" (Chocolate Fireguard)
Kava Kava 'Funked Up and Freaked Out CD and 12"
(Chocolate Fireguard)
Acetate vs Kava Kava 'Pursuit' (Emotif 12")

Photos

Bio

KAVA KAVA are a turbo charged rocked out and funked up live act from Huddersfield in the UK centred around the distinctive soulful vocals and song writing of Pat Fulgoni alongside guitars, electronica, brass, strings and drums.

Over the last three years they have played many prestigious clubs and festivals worldwide including BEIJING MIDI FESTIVAL (Gibson stage headline), GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL (dance stage), SXSW in Texas (2007) and GUINNESS JAZZ FESTIVAL, Cork, Ireland (two years running 2008/2009)

Until relatively recently largely self released on DIY Chocolate Fireguard label, its amazing to discover that Kava Kava's digital single 'Tic' has been heavily featured in HBO's TV series JOHN FROM CINCINNATI (in a 24 song all star soundtrack including Joe Strummer, Bob Dylan, TV on the Radio, Kasabian, U2, Muse, David Byrne, Elvis Costello etc) and lots more besides...

US RECORD DEAL: In 2007 New York label MIDNIGHT SWIMMING (Pai Media) came to see Kava Kava play at their official SXSW Showcase @ Maggie Mae's. Singer Pat Fulgoni returned to the SXSW 2009 with a different hat to organise the first ever Yorkshire showcase at the legendary British Music Embassy venue (promoting Wild Beasts, Sky Larkin, Paul Marshall, Rolo Tomassi....) and having already built up a great track record for his band in the North American territory, signed KAVA KAVA to the Midnight Swimming label at the Austin Convention Centre. Kava Kava's debut US release FORWARDS is out now and picking up some excellent reviews....

Kava Kava certainly do seem to be making in roads into the US market having not 1 but 3 songs in Courtney Cox's TV series DIRT (2008), a song in Mary Louise Parker's WEEDS, 4 songs in Hollywood movie BOYS & GIRLS GUIDE TO GETTING DOWN, 3 songs in snowboarding Xbox game STOKED and new for October 2009 key track BANK JOB is one of the few independent tracks chosen for TAP TAP REVENGE 3 (the most download application in the history of iphone)!

KAVA KAVA are based in the Yorkshire town of Huddersfield in the UK originally starting out as a 4 piece live funk rock outfit with heavy George Clinton influences.

Core members are Pat Fulgoni as Singer, Martin Chung on Bass guitar, Matt Bond on Guitars and Chris Corrigan on Drums. They started out on the underground festival/party scene, had a few independent record deals out there. The NME has described Kava Kava as "gorgeous new psychedelic funk" and they received a No 1 in their CLUB GUIDE CHART c/o US DJ Freddy Fresh. Kava Kava expanded into a six piece (brass section alert) and have been punting their self produced releases on the CHOCOLATE FIREGUARD label run by the band' s singer Pat Fulgoni with various quality independent artists and distribution deals worldwide.

Style wise, Kava Kava are either a rock band or cutting edge live dance act, depending where you are coming from.....they like to mix old school psychedelic and soul influences with bleeps, rocked out live funk, big beats and horns. Seriously hard to pigeon hole, the Kava Kava vibe has been referred to as Rock/Dance, Disco Funk Rock, Space Funk and Nu School Big Beat! The band are as much at home in indie rock circles as they are at dance festivals

PRESS AND RADIO: Kava Kava have received a load of favourable radio and press. For example in the US a feature in BILLBOARD MAGAZINE. Radio spins including Nic Harcourt's show 'MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC' on KCRW and Sat Bisla's PASSPORT APPROVED radio show via AnR Worldwide.

INFLUENTIAL ACT: Kava Kava's frontman Pat Fulgoni also finds time to lend a vocal to cutting edge dance artists such as Hospital Records NU:TONE , LOGISTICS and LONDON ELEKTRICITY to much critical acclaim as well as recording tracks with Jeff Buckley collaborating guitarist GARY LUCAS and JON KENNEDY's 2009 album '14'.

OTHER SALES POINTS: Kava Kava video 'Bank Job' was included in Planetary's video compilation STRANDED IN STEREO Volume 6. Kava Kava were selected as one of the 11 next big thing Yorkshire bands featured on the "New Yorkshire" Music Week magazine CD (MIDEM edition).

EXPERIENCED LIVE ACT: Kava Kava are a very experienced live act. A live concert for BBC Radio Raw Talent was voted Best BBC Raw Talent Gig of the year by listeners. They have played clubs and festivals in the USA, China and right across Europe .... from France, Holland, Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, to Austria, Germany, Poland and Italy. In the UK they have played Glastonbury Festival a few times. Along the way Kava Kava have shared the stage with all kinds of bands from Gil Scott Heron, Porcupine Tree, Asian Dub Foundation, Embrace, The Damned, The Stranglers, Zion Train, Surreal Madrid, Arthur Brown, Fingathing, Freestylers, The Bays, Vadim's Oneself etc etc ........ and were invited as special guests for GLOBAL BATTLE OF THE BANDS (English finals at IN THE CITY).

The following live reaction speaks for itself:

Live review Moles Club, Bath: "A superb live p