Monday, March 22, 2010

Robert Beatty - "Solos" (What The...? Records LP)


"Solos" is a record of live solo electronics sets by Robert Beatty (Three Legged Race, Hair Police) ripped out of the middle of shows he did with Burning Star Core (C. Spencer Yeh) during a tour in April 2009. The work offered here is really damn good. Beatty manages to squeeze and push an unthinkable range of electronic sounds out of a limited set-up consisting of a space echo, synthesizer, mixer, question boxes?? and whatever else electronic he could find, etc...

One of the things that thrills me the most about this record is how dry and naked it is. I feel like I can hear every decision that is being made as it is decided, and that it is always a moment to moment journey. There is no question that Beatty is a hardcore improvisor, and that he is in it for the sonic explorations. You will find no cliches here, no recycled sounds, nothing remotely recognizable really (unless your a B├╝lent Arel aficionado, in which case you are primed and ready to be blown away by Roberts explorations as it is).

These solos are experimental/FARC-fucked and some might want to describe them as avant-guarde-yourself-against-avant-guarde, but one thing that Robert doesn't have a shred of is pretension. He doesn't shy away from a dank groove when it presents itself, and he isn't interested in undermining any world-views.

The packaging consists of a few b&w photocopies of Robert (in various situations - eating, sleeping, with a VHS copy of Michael Christian's "Hard Run") and his equipment.

This is straight alien waffle-babble. Give the circuits the time and let them do the talking. This is the kind of shit you want with your morning coffee. It's a good crawler or a glazed stick - you kinda know its gunna fuck you up for the rest of the day, but you down it anyway and are soo glad you did. Some moments come close to electronic congo jams and then sweeptwee into the back corner pocket... of the solar toaster system.

Since the record is a bunch of pieces collaged together, it really moves. It never dwells and gets soggy. It is always dirty. It is always on the run. I think Robert is not often given the attention that he deserves. This comes as highly recommended as anything! Only 166 copies out there.

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