Mr. Beatnick, Sun Goddess EP


Painting by Dan Quintana

[Don’t Be Afraid]


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Up until last year, Mr. Beatnick had been keeping a low profile — flipping hip-hop and future-jazz beats or the occasional soul edit — but the Synthetes release on Don’t Be Afraid became a sort of coming-out party for him. Drawing comparisons to Floating Points with more bump, it got picked up for big-time mix CDs from Deetron, Scuba, and Gilles Peterson. A wide appeal to say the least, but to my ears a liberal use of samples was too distracting to allow me to sink my teeth completely. By comparison, Mr. Beatnick’s Sun Goddess EP (also for Don’t Be Afraid) uses some of the same tricks without allowing them to overshadow his production.

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The EP is made up of four deep dance tracks, bathed in dappled sunlight that reaches back to early UK ambient techno bliss-outs. Amid the bouncy modulated bass, silky Rhodes and skittery synth textures of the title track, the sampled organ and a signature bass slap (is that Ultramarine’s “Skyclad” I hear?) blend smoothly. “Beneath The Reef” employs squelchy snares and faint, prismatic vocoder to frame emotive pads, funky bass-line runs and a string arrangement that attains a level of sophistication. On “Shifting Sands” a series of synth vamps and curling bass verge on the innocuous for what is the least noteworthy of the bunch. It ends on a buoyant note with the arpeggio driven techno of “Savoir Faire.” Pairing fluttering hi-hats, glowing pads and mellifluous synth lines, Mr. Beatnick works simple elements into harmonious perfection. It’s the sort of track you don’t see coming, but once you do you don’t want to let it go.

cz  on March 21, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Good lookin out on this one Kuri. I had already passed this over on Juno without a listen. So glad you prevented me from sleeping it!!!

Cedar Rapids  on March 22, 2012 at 8:50 AM

He has been moving towards minimal house and theo parrish inspired tracks since moving away from the slower breaks stuff in earlier releases.

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