Album Face-off: Beat Detectives vs Erros Mágicos (Show TONIGHT)
Two side projects of well known Minneapolis groups recently released their debut material on the venerable, formerly local Moon Glyph. Erros Mágicos, a project featuring members of Magic Castles, released their tape Shambhala, while Beat Detectives, a group featuring members of Food Pyramid, dropped their official debut via the tape Casual Encounters of the Third Kind. Both took approaches that ran slightly counter to the main bands they branched out from, but both successfully inject new ideas into well established frameworks they have created. Interestingly, they go opposite directions, with Erros Mágicos feeling like a more expansive and wide eyed version of Magic Castles and Beat Detectives feeling like a grounded, dance floor version of Food Pyramid.
Erros Mágicos spread their warm, guitar driven good vibes on the four songs on their tape. While Magic Castles have a pysched out sound, it always has felt centered to me. It was never too jammy, and always seemed centered on some hook or melody. Erros Mágicos liberally spread their ideas out over long dirges, letting riffs simmer and melodies percolate throughout a hazy walk in the woods. There are even crickets chirping at the end of one of the songs. It is a bloodshot-eyed, sun rising over the horizon, letting their hair down to jam version that you aren’t really surprised to find out Magic Castles frontman Jason Edmonds has in him (with his rotating cast of friends). It gets to its point, but it isn’t afraid to take the meandering path.
Beat Detectives go the opposite direction. Where Shambhala is four songs over one cassette, Causal Encounters of the Third Kind crams 20 into that same space. There is some soundscape noodling, the kind Food Pyramid does as good as anyone in the business, but a lot of the tape gets down to business. And by business I mean crisp drums, blissed out synths and wobbly vocals. Food Pyramid have been known to take listeners on 15 minute komische jams, but the average track for Beat Detectives is a sleek two minutes. The songs are dark, rooted in both some sort of dystopian future and a sweaty, sticky dance floor in an abandoned airport hanger.
Both records will appeal to many segments of the original groups, but also offer new sounds for those who may not have gotten into Magic Castles or Food Pyramid. Beat Detectives is the chilly, zoned in and tweaked out third cousin of Food Pyramid, while Erros Mágicos is the (even more) stoned neighbor of Magic Castles, less concerned with getting to the point and really into the groooove maaaaaan. Both are worth getting to know. Buy each tape from the wonderful folks at Moon Glyph, or even better, see both bands tonight with Leisure Birds at the Hexagon and buy them in person.
Writer / co-founder