Sunday, November 6, 2011

forgotten gem of "intelligent big beat"

gtr riff is mekons sample

soundbites from that Radio 4 gardening program

crikey, the Bolshi label

this isn't the Rasmus track i really cared for ("Afro blowin' in the wind" on the Mass Hysteria EP - youtube don't have it), but it will do for now

youtube don't have any of the other wee gems by Beachcomas, like "it's eggyplectic" or Planet Thanet EP, but they do have this

which i don't remember at all, despite trying in those days of madness to pick everything up that Bolshi ever put out (not really a worthwhile enterprise since a lot it weren't 'specially hot, e.g. Laidback)

but defnitly worth picking up the first Donuts comp if you ever see it going cheep, just for "Donuts" and "Eggyplectic"

this is what i wrote about Beachcomas back in 98:

"Black sheep of the Bolshi roster, Beachcomas are even more into mix-and-mismatch. The partnership of programmer Matt Austin and sample-finder/"chaotic influence" Tony Freeman, Beachcomas first scored on the Big Beat scene with their Bolshi debut "It's Eggyplectic", a glorious squelch-funk surge of jazzy keyboard licks, burbling clavinets, and fierce acid stabs. But the duo really started to live up to their scavenger name--inspired by the surreal sight of a bed washed up on the mudbanks of the Thames--with "Donuts," an off-kilter delight that became the title track of the first Bolshi compilation (where you can also find "Eggyplectic"). Its unlikely constituents include quaint, regionally-inflected English voices, taped from a TV gardening program, talking about "peaches, split and juicy", "strawberries," and "nuts and medleys"; the panting of their pet dog, who refused to bark as desired; and a clipped guitar riff stolen from the B-side of the Mekons first single, "Never
Been In A Riot". This influence from an earlier phase of indie-dance crossover--the punk-funk of Delta 5 and Gang of Four--carries through to the Pop Group sample on Beachcomas' latest EP for Bolshi, the disappointingly ungainly "Big Tuddy Session". Although I could swear it's "Where There's A Will There Has Got To Be A Way" (the Pop Group track on the split-single with The Slits's "In The Beginning There Was Rhythm") that gets sampled on "Waiting For The Beach" (from the second Bolshi EP, Planet Thanet; also available on Donuts 2). Beachcomas say it's actually a Diana Ross loop, combined with rooster noises generated from rubbing Styrofoam together. Either way it's a killer tune, if too rhythmically eccentric to do well on the Big Beat circuit. Right now the Beachcomas are the group who could do most with the album format ("Donuts" was one of the most oddly poignant tracks I heard last year, strangely reminding me of A.R. Kane's second album) but the artist least likely to get the chance."

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