elephantjournal.com music review: Beats Antique’s Contraption
An eclectic mix of joyous and lamenting tones, the self-produced Contraption (released July, 2009) is nothing short of epic.
Contraption’s lead track, Oriental Uno (feat. Fanfara Kalashnikov) is an upbeat, rallying anthem, instigating the listener with sensual and fervent violin, heavy with Mexican-love-story horns, and peppered with the lovable clap-beat. As my ears processed the compilation, my body couldn’t decide whether to jump up and down or slither with bellydance-like undulation.
Track #2, Louie’s Lullaby, is noticeably more subdued, and husky with the ubiquitous bass of the dupstep genre. The subsequent five tracks are wonderfully unique and equally rich and pleasant. Hot, experimental sound effects make each piece volatile and refreshingly unpredictable.
My favorite is the finale track EXTRA EXTRA, composed in honor of the Extra Action Marching Band and based off a composition by Sweet Snacks feat. Sylvain Carton on horns. Brass band, swing, electronica… just a few of the embedded influences that compose this wonderful ruckus and give way to the fantastical image of frenzied ladies and gents, dressed to the nines, whirling about in a ballroom not unlike the infamous “Gold Room” from The Shining.
Whether you love the innovative medley of instruments or not, Beats Antique is quickly becoming notorious for making it nearly impossible to sit still. Contraption succeeds with spirited grooves, delivering sound as medicine and making sure to add deep, sexy undertones to remind us that for every yin, there’s a yang.
Beats Antique combines the sounds of the Middle East with the styles of hip-hop, brass band, downtempo, glitch and dubstep in a new collage of music that is mixed and broken down with clever breakbeats for an adept international flair. Originally assembled to to provide music for an internationally renowned belly dancing troupe, “The Indigo,” the group now features one of the most world known Belly Dancers, Zoe Jakes.
~review via Lindsey Kesel
Cover album art by Andrew Jones.