Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back Catalog - Beats Antique, Rough Guide to China

Beats Antique
Tribal Derivations
Label: CIA (Copeland International Arts)
Released: 2007
Genre: Downtempo, Electroncia

Heavily influenced by various Arabian rhythms and beats, with a healthy dose of downtempo styling, and electronica overlaid across the whole thing. Beats Antique sounds like it might be some form of updated 'traditional' music. In a sense it is, but only so far as its influences go back to "old world" rhythms, without actually borrowing from any specific tradition or songs.

Two guys playing music, and a belly dancer (which doesn't do much to the CD listener except provide cover art). Beats Antique is likely best done live. While I love the CD, I can't help but feel the live show is so much more. Still, I like the downtempo beats, mixed with uptempo elements to keep it moving along. I really like how it fits into the background of whatever I'm doing, it doesn't disappear (as so many downtempo/ambient works do), nor does it intrude (the lack of vocals helps greatly). It sits in that perfect middle ground of filling the room without taking over or being easily ignored.

The Rough Guide To The Music Of China
(Bonus CD) Introducing Hanggai
Label: World Music Network
Released: 2012
Genre: Traditional Chinese, Pop, Rock, Modern

With these Rough Guides most of the time you know pretty much what you're going to get. The compilation itself it usually full of traditional, or slightly modernized, music of the region being outlined. Sometimes what you get are a collection of bands local to the region, but not always playing music traditionally from that area. Like with China - while it contains a large portion of music traditional to various parts of China, which is large with a lot of variation to go over. It also contains so very modern bands that simply happen to be from China. Which is cool, because it's nice to hear other countries takes on something as 'simple' as Rock Music.

The Bonus CD is a re-issue of Hanggai's first international (and possibly debut) release. Hanggai incorporate both Mongolian and Chinese traditions. The singing is almost completely (or maybe completely) in Mongolian, along with some songs using Mongolian Throat Singing, and Chinese musics. When I first started listening I had to check because for a moment I thought I was listening to Irish Celtic music. It's that strangely similar. And it's very good. They have since put out some other titles on a different label that I'll be tracking down.

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