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BEAUTY & THE BEAT

The Balek Band

Danse Primitive EP

In case you haven't realised it yet, Beauty & The Beat trade only in the deepest musica. The Loft-inspired London crew have done a wonderful job of translating the acid-soul and world-influenced disco of their party to the platter on their first three releases, and numéro quatre keeps the quality refined, the sound sophisticated and the emotions...erm...totes. 
For the fourth instalment, the label invite Nantes' experimental ensemble The Balek Band to work their magic and are rewarded with enchanted melodies and arcane rhythms. Opener "Tometsi" slips its worldly moorings and drifts into deep Balearic, heading for a horizon where squirming moog riffs rain on top of rippling pads and subtle percussion glitters just above the swell. Think Harvey in Moonshadows mode and you're perfectly on path with this Balearic beauty. Next up "Diconiels" delivers shuffling rhythms and square bass, delayed guitar and cosmic chug, finding their own personal island where voodoo incantations wait on the wind. On the B-side, "Bayoyo Sou" incorporates the shuffling rhythms and tropical jazz motifs of zouk into the Balek's psychedelic swirl, gently building into a gliding acid house hit for cultured club sets or fireside rituals. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: I can't speak more highly of the Beauty & The Beat crew. Each release is distinct and diverse but falls within the deeply psychedelic space they've created. Here, Nantes' Balek Band join the dots between jazzy Balearic, cosmic zouk and diasporic house across three deep cuts - once again, it's a triumph.

London-based Psychedelic soul evangelists Beauty & The Beat are back in the store with their third release, a heady collaborative 12" with the Beating Heart project, an initiative which saw a whole host of international talent sample and remix field recordings made by Hugh Tracey in 1950s South Africa with kind permission from the International Library of African Music.
The keen eared selectors at Beauty & The Beat cherry picked the four finest cuts, had them remastered by Frank Merritt at the Carvery then pressed them onto a crystal clear vinyl.
North Eastern boy George Robertson opens proceedings under his Boys Ride Bikes alias, transforming a traditional South African chant into an emotional rich slice of synthetic house flavoured with 21st century pop tropes, autotune and ecstatic chord progressions. Shop favourite Nabihah Iqbal continues the journey into yearning, conjuring thrilling cinematic synths, drifting ambient guitar licks and a soft focus shimmer around folk whistles and clapping patterns for "Wonderful Sushi". Over on the B1 South African artist Thor Rixon cooks up the kind of slow, mournful and moving trip we've come to expect from a BATB release, gently shifting focus from spidery guitar to glassy key, soulful vocal or mind bending effect, while the stately rhythm and subtle bassline roll underfoot. Finally, The Happy Show rinse the filter and fire up the high hats, tripping a Gumboots original into a driving bit of Afro-centric psychedelia I can imagine mixing into that Noir Desire edit on Mindless Boogie. 
Not only does this 12" give you four diverse and dope tracks, it features wicked artwork from Peter McDonald, a dope sleeve design from Gina, and a donation to charity! Proceeds support gender equality in South Africa through the Women’s Legal Centre, as well as helping to teach music production skills to kids at Grahamstown’s Access Music Project.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Party with a purpose! Beauty & The Beat return with four heart melting tracks based around 50s field recordings from South Africa. If you want yearning synth pop, shimmering psychedelia and nuanced grooves then this is the platter for you!


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