BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! is an electric mix of dancehall, EDM, dub and electronica from drummer and beatmaster Mark Guiliana who has previously worked on David Bowie's Blackstar. Musical elements build and crash away into electronic rhythms which are complex and futuristic in character but with an '80s edge and universal appeal.
Vinyl LP £18.49 MTM0324
LP on Motema.
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CD £12.99 MTM0322
CD on Motema.
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I try not to judge a book by its cover (or record by its liner notes/photos), but I was initially put off by Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music Album. There is a photo of him in an all-yellow ensemble wearing chunky glasses and trainers. I thought ‘oh great, more hipster dreck I’ve got to sit through’. However, I was proven surprisingly and pleasantly wrong.
‘BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC!’ is a superb album filled with fractious beats, deep, heavy, ear-filling bass, and wonderfully angry vocal samples. There are a few moments where this album threatened to turn into some weird hybrid electro-jazz but, crucially, it didn’t and for that I commend Mr Guiliana. Parts of this album remind me of Mr Oizo’s ‘Flat Beat’, with the hints at garage and drum and bass, the chewy bass, and the heavy, heavy groove. Guiliana drummed on Bowie’s last album ‘Blackstar’ but that’s not really worth mentioning because this is such a brilliantly realised album. It skilfully straddles (ugh what a horrible word) / spans such diverse genres as krautrock, electro, electronica, and even experimental hip-hop (with regards to the beats). There are all kinds of stops and starts, and changes in tempo and rhythm that are so refreshing to hear. I love how blatant these shifts are, as if Guiliana couldn’t care less about where he sticks them.
This album isn’t without its dull moments, I think the cod dub-reggae number ‘Human’ could have been left off the album, however aside from that, ‘BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC!’ is a pretty stonking album.
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