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The Most Beautiful Ugly

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Album Review

Besides being an established producer, Thavius Beck also does instructional videos for Dubspot, a school for DJs and electronic musicians to learn the fine art of recording. So, it should be no surprise that his 2012 album demonstrates his expertise with computer beats. Compared to his early career work with the hip-hop group Global Phlowtations or his prior solo albums (which stretch all the way back to 2000), this has remarkably few guests and remarkably few samples. Instead, The Most Beautiful Ugly is a clinical display of what can be done with his software of choice. He shows off his skill with Ableton in two- to three-minute instrumentals, using MIDI samples, vocoder plug-ins, and drum kits to make futuristic and somewhat cinematic soundscapes. There's slightly more electro than hip-hop going on here. Two skills he has mastered in the past, mood and texture, make this record especially listenable, although sometimes the productions are so professionally crafted that they sound sterile. In the best moments, he breaks out of the mold by taking risks, like upping the Southern swagger of "Labward Bound" into a bouncy mariachi jam by incorporating horns, or by trying his hand at other styles like IDM ("Whether or Not") and 8-bit ("Imma Get So"). The Most Beautiful Ugly may not be the best Thavius Beck album of his catalog, but it's not far from it — and as always, it's a treat to enter his dreamy astral world. All in all, this is a great showcase for his digital, beat-oriented productions and kaleidoscopic tastes.

Customer Reviews


I believe this is his first album. I remember hearing "Nothing Lasts Forever" on the Ableton website and it motivated and moved me to the point to begin production as well. A must have for any future electronic artist looking for inspiration on what can be done with digital audio workstations such as Ableton Live.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A revered producer beyond the realm of his solo work, Los Angeles musician Thavius Beck began putting out musical collages under his own name in the mid-2000s. Beck's lush compositions, lying sonically somewhere between DJ Shadow and Orbital, blend acid jazz, hip-hop, techno, and many other styles with a knack for mellow yet mesmerizing hooks. He cut his mixing board chops as a member of the hip-hop collective Global Phlowtations in the late '90s. After a few releases under the name Adlib, Beck signed...
Full Bio
The Most Beautiful Ugly, Thavius Beck
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