Beat Detectives: Music 2 & Music About Time Reviews
After their “official” debut on Moon Glyph earlier in 2013, Beat Detectives went all out with two releases near the end of last year. The first to drop was Music 2 on the West Coast powerhouse label 100% Silk, followed shortly thereafter by Music About Time on the great local label Night People. Both delve further into the jacked-and-screwed electronic abyss that the trio have proven adept at navigating, featuring slight alterations that seem to nod towards the labels that pressed the tape.
Music 2 is a bit shorter and more to the point than Music About Time, and seems to have injected that mystery pill that gets you a spot on the 100% Silk roster. It has a dreamy, deep house quality that even after being dragged through the Beat Detectives back alley comes out with a bit of a sparkle. “Crazy People” is one of the more euphoric tracks so far in the band discography, a song that seems to have been birthed out of a time machine from a warehouse rave in the late 80’s. “You’re Blinding Me” features a synth bass line that is warm and fat, with Oakley Tapola’s deadpan vocals staggering through the blinking lights. “Three Minutes of Acid” is as advertised and the lead track “There is a Place U Go” is an outstanding, shadowy house jam that sets the mood for the rest of the tape.
I don’t know whether it was the case, but Music About Time feels in tune with the label it was released on, a bit more wholly and adventurous. Where Music 2 sounds like a top-notch Silk release, Music About Time feels more random and in line with the spirit of the group. Even the lead song, “Your Love,” while circling around a catchy synth line, feels woozy and wobbly in a way that is less dance floor and more hazy basement party. “Who is the Boss,” “Boombox Funk” & “Screen Shot” sound like demented hip hop, while “Picture of More Picture” is all chopped and screwed tomfoolery. “Trashed Beach” barley ventures above destroyed sound ambiance while “Mikey Dread Hammer Situaiton” & “Guava Road Dub” are are held down by guttural bass lines and grimy grooves that seems less interested in getting you to shake your ass on the dancefloor and more interested into sending you on a trippy ride and turning your spine into jelly.
Even if tailoring the music to the labels wasn’t intentional, it sure seems to have worked out that way. Music 2 is shorter and more serene, the deep house album that mostly gets to the point that I have always suspected they had the talent to make if they wanted to. Music About Time is closer in line with their live show and their previous release, a long and wandering album that at times almost circles back and eats its own tail in its genre hopping. Both are great and show why the band seem to be on a pretty consistent upward trajectory. They don’t seem like a band that take time to revel in their success, so I imagine we will hear quite a bit more from the band in 2014. Here’s to hoping it is as weird, exciting and eclectic as was their output in 2013.