This release is something for the fearless open-minded lovers of rhythm and percussion. Navigating the colliding space of all things abstract, the album and its creator seek to bring the rich culture of rhythmic varieties from all over the world under one roof. Meet Beatdenker!
Beatdenker is the musical alias of Jo Wespel, an experimental electronic producer and graduated jazz guitarist. His passion for all things rhythm picked up during his music studies, going on to explore the intimidating variety of compositions from all around the world, but especially South India. That love for rhythm becomes clear as he explains those endeavors: “The main focus always was music from South India, their unbelievable knowledge and abilities about complex rhythms and improvisational skills, then the crazy super complex rhythms in the New Complexity stream within the so called New Music, a quite intellectual dealing with rhythm, stuff you can hardly imagine and in the end the improvisational aspects of so called Jazz music and its open attitude how to handle determined material.”
Jo brings the acquired knowledge over to beat-driven electronic realms, his second passion. I’m not surprised to see Little Snake as part of his endless list of influences. In fact, I did wonder if Jo knew that particular artist – the fluid movement between different rhythmic structures within a blink of an eye is common for both. On his fruitful explorations of rhythm, Jo wishes to introduce that colorful world to the audience on the dance floor: “So I tried to find a way to make fresh Beat Music out of it, especially in the rhythmic field. And I also wanna experiment what happens to people and the audience in live situations, how do they move their bodies to it, what happens to their brains and so on.”
The endless research driven by an appreciation for the cultures and pure passion of music has ended up in his music – a strange mixture where all inspiring things have met in a form of evermoving sculptural forms.
“So in the end, I called everything Postcontemporary Brain Beats which can maybe generate some Future Dance Steps, haha. My rhythm language I call, Xenorhythm, an attempt of not to be afraid of but to welcome and invite foreign rhythms (in this case also figurative). In a time of global, multiple crises, where people are forced to leave their homes, if they wanna be able to survive – dramatically pushed by neocolonialist politics and structural rasicm, it should be clear that we at least need to be open for the unknown, and should welcome the so called foreigners. These people will bring endless – priceless – knowledge, culture and life to us. They will enrich the European culture, as it always was.Jo
Exchange is the fundament of respect and sympathy. Therefore this music is a call for a new openness and or open mindedness for the unknown, especially people as well as music and things we don‘t know yet”
Beatdenker is now ready to release his debut album. Titled “Too Tall to Dance“, the release holds 13 songs with a total runtime of 52 minutes. The album was written in 11 days full of intense music writing. The result – an album packed full of strange. It may make you feel disjointed and taken aback at first, but repeated listens reveal a structure underneath.
The album begins with deep synth jabs of “Too Contemporary to Post” before introducing the jagged percussion, sort of a softer start into the whirlwind. The melody of the synth “Too Forward to Back” also follows a free, yet carefully thought about melody faintly reminiscent of Cardiacs. The first single of the album “Too Wobbly to Wobble” brings forth wildly swaying structures and rather sharp beats.
“Too Lovely to Love” comes loaded with growling synths under the rather ethereal synth swells, making for an interesting vibrant atmosphere. Fearless dives backwards and onwards incorporated. The magical leaves to give way to grimy echoing underground structures of “Too Beaty to Beat”, an evolutionary disco in large empty storm drains, electrified by exposed wires. The album then returns above the ground, taking us to an alternate and admittedly pretty drugged vision of a funk disco in “Too Funk to Fck”.
“Too Sticky to Stick” is a song of slow nighttime journey along a mental highway. Brace yourself as it too starts to evolve and alternate between multiple different variations. The slow relaxed atmosphere with heavy beats are a contrast with the speedy rhythms in aptly named “Too Fast to Fast”, a neuro affair reminiscent of saturated high-energy race games. The second single follows – “Too Shaky to Shake” is an unstable construction constantly rebuilding itself above the dark bassy synths deep underneath.
“Too Fit to Fit” brings forth a bassy 4 on the floor beat taking turns with the shattered plexiglass version of itself. The eery atmosphere of “Too Thin to Thin” is full of thin synths warbling, distorting and wobbling above the dangerously growling bass synth like malfunctioning devices. That closed-in space is then replaced by vast extraterrestrial soundscapes with organ-like noises reverbing through – “Too Alien to Alienate” is a relatively slow-paced and very eery song slowly grinding up towards entering hyperspace.
The journey ends with surprisingly earthly melodies of guitar painting a visual of a fresh day either before or after a major storm. The serene soundscapes are joined by barely audible muffled beats – a sense of imminence slowly built up. A relaxing and a quite beautiful ending to a very forward-thinking album that takes imagination to a whole new level.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. You can also check out his official website. If you enjoy his music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp; for virtual concerts you can go to songkick “Live from their sofa to yours”.
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