B.A.E. Beat Tape Vol. 1 Is Not Gangster Rap, Nor Should It Be
B.A.E. contributed more to the world than all the combined meetings of the G7 with this outstanding beat tape. I really liked this beat tape. It reminded me of when I would make music fucking around with my friends, and all the disconnected funny things that pop up from that kind of process that don’t happen when you create music seriously by yourself.
Here’s a rundown of the tracks, which I would definitely boast about if I were B.A.E…
- “I Am God’s Punching Bag” is synthy fun with an oscillating opening quick-changing into an 808 “bunce” and a half-time feel, with layers gradually adding over a repetitive “bunz-bunz-bunz-bunz” door-knocking style hits.
- “Cyber Molly” starts with what seems like it could be going in an avant-garde direction, then gets an electronica, 80’s style use of an 808-style synth, like in a chase scene of an action movie, a tin-can like sample starts panking around, and then saw-synth-like whurrs and shmurrs lick around, eventually developing into a hypnotic rhythmic feel, then changing up into an eerie sphlantz, and a quick dying entrance ends up synthing out at the end.
- “Liquid Confidence (Alcohol)” also enjoys an opening where you can’t tell whether it’s a barbecue cooking sample or just a noise loop, and then a nice mix of sounds that arguably shouldn’t work together, work together—8-bit video game shplings, synth melodic licks, middle-Eastern style synth sitar-like sounds, farty bass synths, and after a few polyrhythmic repetitions enters you into serious vibe with the beat.
- “Maad Ciiity” beautifully brings hesitant synth pulsing together with old-school beat slaps and occasional word samples and sword or knife shranking samples looping a city zone out of pulsating urban landscapes.
- “Binkers” is porn to any electronica enthusiast. It respectfully uses the buttons that no one’s touched on the 808 since the early 90s, and is a pleasant stabaround of a smorgasbord of electronic percussive sounds.
- “80HD” is a melodic adventure, sometimes making you cry, sometimes reminding you of a Hong Kong martial arts movie, and includes some nice delayed entrances of synth chords to please you if you’re on something while listening to it.
- “Atik Lovers” is a sweeping journey into deeper and deeper layers of meditative contemplation till a change-up with a low scary synth will frighten you out of it.
- “Augury” establishes a beat loop, setting the stage for subtle sweeping pad entrances, which then unexpectedly shifts into an gently-attacking arpeggiating keyboard part, while pads almost afraid of being too epic sweep around the side like spotlights on an empty night stage.
- “Cry” is the happiest track on the beat tape. Gospel-on-helium samples interplaying with what sounds like demo rhythms on cheap Yamaha or Casio synths. Oh, and dat recurring “Oh shit” sample coming back throughout the beat tape on this track is the best.
- “Shimmy Shimmy Ya [Flip]” captures the essence of friends fucking around making beats. It’s where illegally-used Wu-Tang samples remind you of the Wu-Tang Clan in an era where you hear the new-school synth playing above the samples more today than the Wu-Tang Clan.
- “80HD x Skateboard P” gets king emcee Skateboard P on top of the beat no emcee ever thought they could top. How far up the top can you get? Skateboard P shows you on 80HD x Skateboard P.
- “Poison in My Veins” is different in style to most of B.A.E.’s beats, a pleasant surprise at the end of such a great album. An avant-folk acoustic guitar with stabbing, reverberated beats, and a vocal melody that’s FX’ed to work, together with the 8-bit video game samples characteristic of B.A.E.’s hard gangster sound.