I discovered Beats Antique through Pandora Internet radio, and after liking every song of theirs I heard, I checked the band out and discovered they are the real deal. The group blends electronica with traditional Mid-Eastern percussion and melodies (and live bellydancing). And they are my new favorite music.
Video: Copyright 2011, Tom Couture Photography
I’ve always been a huge fan of percussion. I’m not a drummer, but I play I mean set of air drums to most any song. And generally speaking, things like shakers, gamelans, hand drums, and especially the tambourine (think: power pop 16th notes) have always appealed to me greatly, though my main instrument is bass guitar. Percussive effects are one of my favorite elements of electronica, but it’s even more amazing live – there’s a primal energy that’s in our DNA from when our cave dwelling ancestors beat on logs around a fire and danced around. And yet another super-cool thing about Beats Antique is that they’re real musicians, not just an electronica act. Check out the group breaking it down acoustically:
Video: Copyright 2011, Relix
Compare the above “unplugged” performance to the actual studio version to fully appreciate the awesomeness – they don’t miss a note or beat.
Bellydance Music and Beyond
What I especially dig about Beats Antique is their blending of traditional percussion with unique instrumentation, along with melodies evocative of caravans traversing the desert or incense wafting through spice market stalls. But it’s not exactly “world music.” Nor is it simply electronica, and it definitely isn’t rock. Whatever you call it, Beats Antique definitely grooves, and makes for some excellent bellydancing accompaniment, as evidenced by the group’s dancer, Zoe Jakes.
Beats Antique is on tour right now, and I’m happy to have scored my ticket to see them at the Cat’s Cradle in NC in a couple of months. In the meantime, I’ll be blaring their beats and melodies through my headphones and in the car at every opportunity.
UPDATE: Instagram Brings Fans to Gigs!
May 4, 2012 – Just wanted to point out how social networking and visual art-by-way-of-blogging (and the Facebook) can promote the art-music experience of Beats Antique. Show tonight. Blog review to come…
What do you think? Can you name other examples of traditional sounds blended with modern beats? What new music have you discovered lately? Or what are you listening to at this exact moment? What’s the last song played on your iPod/Zune/8-track? Let us hear from you in the comments!
- Beats Antique – Skeleton Key (sophistefunk.com)
- Featured Artist: Beats Antique (katelinmcsweeny.wordpress.com/)
- Beats Antique Interview / Sea of Dreams 2011 (thrillcall.com)
- Tom Couture Photography – Beats Antique (tomcouture.com)
- Review: Beats Antique at the Fillmore 12/3/11 (westword.com)
- Beats Antique interview – video (The Brain Trust)
- Beats Antique with Zoe Jakes and Kami Liddle (TheFledglingBelly.wordpress.com)