Album Review: Beats Antique’s “Contraption Vol. II”
Experimentation has never been a stranger to the electronica/world music outfit Beats Antique, and their most recent release “Contraption Vol. II” serves as no exception.
Released on Sept. 18, “Contraption” possesses all the elements that make Beats Antique what they are: one of a kind. Their innovative conglomerations of electronica with world styles that range from Indian raga to afrobeat make the band one of the most adventurous (and successful) in the genre.
David Satori and Tommy Cappel are both well educated and well traveled multi-instrumentalists. This becomes evident in the group’s dynamic contrast; they know when to get loud, they know when to get soft. Most of the album is very danceable, and as the Beats Antique website refers to it “seductively bass heavy.”
The first track “The Allure” begins with a distant and echoing pattern played by bells with a violin melody soaring overtop. The heavy hip-hop drums thunder about 30 seconds in, never for a second loosing the focus on the melody.
The track “Hero” also features a violin melody, as well as a series of stops and starts that are timed down to a tee.
Though the band is known as an instrumental group, there are two tracks with vocals on the album, including “Crush” (ft. Brass Menazeri) and what I would deem the best track on the album, “Crooked Muse “ (Ft. Lynx).
Lynx is a hip-hop vocalist that has been opening for the band on their most recent tour, and her soulful vocals are key in “Crooked Muse,” a dark and bluesy ballad that is surprisingly bare, with no electronic tracking.
“Bus to Balkans” begins with a tango feel, and speeds up into an all out Latin groove. The heavy electronic bass and drum grooves dominate most of the album, and are especially prevalent on this track.
“Contraption Vol. II” is available in stores and on iTunes. For more information on Beats Antique go to www.beatsantique.com.
Key Tracks: “The Allure,” “Crush,” “Crooked Muse” and “Bus to Balkans.”