buru style

about the artist

Buru Style, like so many bands, started out rocking parties on campus. There was a bizarre twist however—at first, they only played transcriptions of Jamaican Nyabingi music that drummer Bill Carbone was working on for his Masters’ thesis. The name “Buru Style” is derived both from that work—“Buru” is a type of Jamaican drumming—and from a Skatalites song of the same name.


The band, however, which swelled and shrank from 12 to 5 members depending fairly freely (and without drama), was too good to stay academic. Buru Style began working with vocalists—they backed Caribbean vocal showcases, Ghanaian superstar Shasha Marley used them when in the Northeast, and they cut albums with Toussaint Liberator and Ajani. They also embraced the idea of “roots” beyond reggae, pulling deeply from the scads of throwback material being issued by Daptone, Truth and Soul, and Eccentric Soul at the time.


Buru Style gigged quite a bit from Brooklyn to Boston, but, thanks to freely available space at their homebase, Wesleyan University, they recorded even more.


The Omnidenominational Holiday Experience was recorded in a few Middletown, CT basements and attics in the fall of 2010. In true Buru style it’s fucking weird, but also full of love. Check out the kids backing up MC Kabir on “Jingle Bells”—that’s Bill’s son and his friends from the block. Or “Chanukah Oh Chanukah” on which the band uses an 80s Casio keyboard to evoke Sun Ra.


Writ large, the idea was that it was the holidays for the whole band--indeed the whole country--but we were a ragtag bunch of mostly non-practicing Christians and Jews. How could we make an album that would help everyone celebrate together? Well, it would have to be Omnidenominational, like a perfect world should be. 


Buru Style couldn’t last—by 2011 the collection of young talented members had scattered to various US cities and even other countries But the Omnidenominational Holiday Experience is a testament to the good vibes they created while it lasted.