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The Beeps

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Album Review

After a few initial releases as Yoko Solo Brandon Lasan returns to the alias with the higher-profile Beeps. The set incorporates his influences and experiences, like broken and manipulated sounds, experimental techno detours, and hip-hop rhythms in the tradition fellow Bay Area producer DJ Shadow. And video games, ringtones, and the murky sound and vision of MPEG files are secondarily related, particularly in "Kluge [?!]" and "Infinite Collapse, Pt. 1: I Blew It [infinite undo]," which build into extensively layered sound collages that snap and pop with ADD ideas. "No Party, Wind/Vomit" is harsher, its whining guitars and abrupt percussion shifts suggesting the industrial pop of decades past, while "Covered in Feces...Stronger Than You, Rotten" and "Krak V.2 "I Rebuke Thee" offer a relatively more conventional experimental hip-hop sound. (The latter with a nod to Missy Elliott and Timbaland.) Solo's synthesis aesthetic isn't unique, particularly when his peers include consistent boundary pushers like Dabrye and Four Tet. But he still has something with Beeps, a feel for laying off-sounds or layering on rhythms at just the right time to keep songs fresh. Beeps might ultimately be best as background music. But sometimes the backgrounds need a fresh coat of paint, too.

The Beeps, Yoko Solo
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