Friday, 11 March 2011

RECOMMENDED: Beatbully - Kosmik Regn [Dødpop]

As bleak as the world can look sometimes, music has an unabashed and effective power to change and alter a state or thought process. A lot of our inner pains and outer squabbles seem inconsequential given the recent turmoil of international events, which is why I reached for Beatbully’s Kosmik Regn between my extended binges on BBC News 24 today. It’s like regular SR co-founder Jimi The Xploder says, ‘skweee just has that power to make you smile,’ and for whatever selfish reason I find myself clambering for it now.

Hailing from Norway, Beatbully co-founded the Dødpop label, an outlet who’ve proved themselves more than dedicated to the strains of computer funk and synthetic beat music you can find across their two Dødpop presents compilations and the preceding run of 7”s – which have been collated on CD on the aptly titled As and Bs. Reportedly influenced by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk as much as by the boogie of Egyptian Lover, Beatbully’s music is smarter than its primitive equipment suggests. Restrained in places, saving its punch for the underlying melodies (see ‘Move Your Feet’) rather than the force of the boom and the bap, it locks on to a groove, exploring the furthest possibilities in the truest sense of skweee – making the most out of limited means.

Tracks like ‘Bølleboogie,’ ‘RnBully’ (which was given away on XLR8R back when Dødpop Vol 2 hit the shelves) and ‘Ajer vel’ contort the lower frequencies, croaking and seething at the bass whilst blossoming into high pitched hooks and lead lines that embed themselves deep into your eardrums. With the laid back nature of ‘Expecting Company’ (which features one half of last week’s SR mixers, Slow Hand Motem on vocal duty) however, Beatbully proves that he also excels at the pensive, sunshine side of the synthesizer, offering more than just fluorescent clad 8 bit drum structures. Layering his tracks with relatively simple melodies (see album closer ‘Buddah nr. 2’) he creates an electronic haze worthy of lengthier lament.

Maturing a little in his harmony over the years (check ‘Robot I Tromma’ on As & Bs to hear him in tearout, smash and skweee mode) Beatbully’s created a happy distraction from reality, a clever debut album containing 9 tracks that explore his own sound set in depth and offer a neat progression.

Words: Oli Marlow // Out: 21st March 2011

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