Published: April 11, 2014
By: Thandiwe Ogbonna
The new album from Beats Antique, A Thousand Faces - Act 2, continues the trend of multi-genre experimentation by one of the most expressive electronic music acts in the industry. Influences ranging from glitch to classical to afrobeat comprise the cast of characters in this electrifying performance.
The opening track, “Dragon’s Eye,” barrels in with all the fanfare of a Middle English royal arrival, seeming to announce the drawing of the curtain and start of the show. Bright horn lines contrast with low brass bellows for a rich, textured sound layered over a fury of album scratches and crashing percussion.
In “Refusal”, the melancholy mood is almost palpable, as singer-songwriter SORNE croons in a haunting whisper, “I will not go. This is the only home I know.” His gentle words fade into echos and light percussive rhythms for a masterfully executed ballad.
Beats Antique returns to its more traditional Eastern influence in “The Rift” with a little help from Alam Khan, master of the sarod, a 25-stringed fretless Indian instrument. Complex rhythms in both the melody and supporting lines make this tune especially dance worthy.
Screaming guitars and racing drumlines collide in the aptly titled “Clash”. Seemingly incongruous rhythmic patterns ride side by side, driving the track forward until their trajectories intersect in a blaze of dissonant glory.
The curtain closes on a high note with “Jumpin,” a rolling, thumping gypsy house finale that once again brings back the classic Beats Antique sound. Induced visions of smoke-filled performance halls and foot-tapping spells are to be expected here; this is not for the faint of heart.
A first-rate production, A Thousand Faces - Act 2 is available as a free BitTorrent Bundle together with several video “stems”, which Beats Antique is releasing in order to allow fans to create its first crowdsourced official music video. The album alone is also available from Bandcamp.
Catch Beats Antique on Spring Tour now!