Beat Detectives: Ass cop Review
For the past few years, local trio Beat Detectives have made jumbled, manic house music crafted for the most twisted warehouse party on earth. On their three tapes put out in the last 18 months, released on three of the best labels around (Moon Glyph, Night People, 100% Silk), the group captured their zeitgeist in various forms of zaniness, slapping together their rich concoction of party starters and day-glo headphone zone outs.
Continuing their tour of tape labels too cool for your band, the group are releasing the Ass Cop CS on 1080p, and it may be their most twisted release yet. The synths and drums are warm and thick, muscling forward in a ocean of haze and tape static. There are countless moments where the Beat Detectives groove is as deep as ever, with Aaron Anderson and Chris Hontos stretching themselves into corners of electronic music that very few bands are reaching for right now. Lead singer Oakley Tapola vocal’s, as irreverent as ever, seem higher in the mix, which mixed with the random interludes creates a record that seems longer and more in depth than its 26 minutes. Even before you factor in the random audio clips that jolt the listener throughout the tape, the chopped-and-screwed dance mania is as confounding and warped as anything the band has released so far.
It is worth noting the random audio rips are rather outstanding themselves. They range from the reality TV host saying “You’re the father of 500 children…whaaat?” to the distorted, disaffected voice droning that “My mom makes the most bland food EVER.” It took me many listens to get over the fact that sleek, senus “Oh That Felix” starts with a snapping snare rhythm fighting with a fuzzy snippet from “House of the Rising Sun.” When the music, which floats uneasily in the ether and seemingly transmitted from another planet, is the most normal part of the release, you know you’ve entered another dimension.
While this is a tape that has a distinct tongue-in-cheek factor, it is anything but a joke. When they aren’t goofing around, the songs on the tape are top notch and find a band exploring a sound in a way very few others are right now. From the lush baseline of “Fresh Out of the Pack” to the wobbly funk of “Illusion of a Band,” the band cram more dynamic electronic music into this short release than some bands do in an entire LP. From the dynamic underwater beats on “Trappy” and the lean, minimalist “Summer in the City,” you can hear the adventorous spirit and ear for syrupy sweet melodies the band often hide beneath their layered beats and ironic interludes.
This release is and will get attention for its zany nature, but make sure once you get done laughing at the (hilarious) youtube samples that are randomly dropped into the tape, you hear the great music that they are slicing and dicing between. Ass Cop is just the latest bottle rocket sent fluttering into the sky by the Beat Detectives crew, but it again shows an incredibly talented group. With their fourth straight outstanding release, and this one being the particular sugar rush that it is, I’m excited, and slightly frightened, to see where the band turn next.