Back in the Fall of 2013, before embarking on a massively entertaining tour, the renowned California trio known as Beats Antique put forth their latest work, A Thousand Faces – Act I. The title became evidently appropriate to anyone that caught them on that following tour, as the show was arranged as a complete performance working through the album beginning to end while accompanied by a wide-array of visual elements, including 3D-mapping, belly dancing, and a 30 foot tall inflatable cat monster–yes, you read that correct, a giant, inflatable monster cat.
Now Beats is back and serving up another fresh serving of, well, beats. The group’s signature sound, a blend of world music entangled with electronic elements (most prominently bass music) and the occasional peppering of hip-hop, is present here as always, yet the album takes on a much darker atmosphere than its predecessor. While Act I was riddled with upbeat and danceable rhythms, Act II, while still maintaining these elements on a few tracks, more often falls into the depths of slow-moving and more heavily instrumental sounds. “Refusal”, which features the enchanting, yet haunting vocals of SORNE, is the first glimpse of this, before “Awaken” carries us further into a dark soundscape dominated by string accompaniment. “Roadworthy” is further worth noting for its fresh perspective on funk. Those characteristics that have become so recognizable and easily associated with Beats Antique find new applications on this album, wrapping it into a complete package that is easily one of their best works to date, if not their best album completely.
Beats Antique – A Thousand Faces – Act II — FREE Download!!
Funkadelphia Picks: “Roadworthy”, “Dragon’s Eye” & “Refusal”