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Twice a month, CHIRP DJ and Features Co-Director Mick takes a deep dive into two albums currently in rotation on CHIRP's charts that he thinks are worth some special attention. If you haven't given these albums a listen in their entirety, let Mick make the case for why you should!
Tour Beats Vol. 1
Releases made exclusively for tours were at one point a novel concept, then a necessity, and now seemingly a quirk of the recent past. With no one touring we have seen a steady declassification of releases once only meant for archives and merch tables.
Most of these “exclusive albums” are underwhelming and were probably better left in the vault, but there are gems to be found amongst the raft of recent Bandcamp rough. One such notable is Tour Beats Vol.1 from Anteloper.
Tour Beats is the product of a month-long residency by the Red Hook native and trumpeter Jamie Branch at the studio of the Brooklyn-based community center, Pioneer Works back in 2018. Anteloper as a band began when Branch invited drummer Jason Nazary to join her in utilizing the recording space, a converted shipping container, to improvise a sound collage with her.
Their experiments with acoustic drums, electronic triggers, modular FX unit, synths, sequencers, trumpets, synths, delay pedals, auxiliary percussion, a Roland TR08 drum machine and a myriad of processors proved that the unassuming space could contain multitudes, wide vistas that had gone otherwise undetected by less adventurous souls.
They started with nothing when they hit record and ended up with a multi-dimensional kaleidoscopic turn of lysergic sound and presentation. The album was originally only available as a limited cassette release on Anteloper’s 2019 North American Tour with Blacks’ Myths, but has now seen a full vinyl treatment thanks to benevolent local jazz imprint, International Anthem.
If you are looking for an entry point into this brief, if transportive, slice of sound art, you could start at the beginning with “Bubble Under,” a deep house invoking, subterranean pool of pure rhythmic elixir where Branches trumpet splashes and breaches flirtatiously with a surf of salty synths.
But if you think this ride is really for you, then would suggest saddling up to “RADAR radio” from the jump. The track is a warped, centrifugal dance of babbling bass and celebratory trumpet shouts over a rippling break-beat, like flower petals swirling and colliding on the surface of a clear, freshwater stream, and probably my favorite track on the album.
Tour Beats was always too good to just sit one Anteloper’s hard drives and I’m glad that they’ve allowed it to be set free for all to enjoy.
Mick is always writing about something he's heard. Possibly even something you'd like. You can read his stuff over at the I Thought I Heard a Sound blog.
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