Since Beacon has toured with Tycho they have found themselves some proper exposure from singing live with Sarah Barthel from Phantogram to hitting the road with How To Dress Well. The duo will hopefully be all over the states and EU this summer and fall, until then just enjoy the stream above.
Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett, aka Brooklyn duo Beacon, introduced themselves to the world with the No Body and For Now EPs, both released last year on Ghostly International. The EPs were united by minimalist, R&B-influenced instrumentation, and also by a lyrical theme, with both serving as meditations on the darkness that underpins the most intense of human emotions: love.
The duo’s debut album The Ways We Separate both consolidates and develops these ideas. The album focuses, as the title suggests, on the idea of separation — both within the context of relationships and in a more intimate, psychological sense. As Mullarney explains, “The narrative contained inside The Ways We Separate deals with two kinds of separation: one where two entities grow apart, and the other where we grow apart from ourselves. Over the course of a relationship, the two sometimes happen together, one being the result of the other.”
Desires, passions and regrets are central to the songs on The Ways We Separate, which take a variety of perspectives to construct a nuanced reflection on the album’s central theme. ‘Between the Waves’ draws a clever analogy between relationships and soundwaves falling out of phase: “I know all the ways we separate/ Where we start to fade at different frequencies.” ‘Overseer’ catalogues a parting of the ways with discomfiting clarity: “Isn’t it fine?/ Taking it slow?/ Watching you watch me walk out your door.” And album closer ‘Split in Two’ explores how the extremes of love and loss can take you far away from being the person you thought you were, making explicit the connection between the two ideas of separation: “What I’d do for you?”, sings Thomas Mullarney, “Split myself in half/ Divided into two.”
Musically, The Ways We Separate finds Beacon working with a richer sonic palette than ever before —as Gossett says, “The production on this album is much more expansive than anything we’ve done thus far. We spent a lot of time exploring new gear and experimenting with how to pull a wide range of sound out of various instruments. Some of the key sonics that shaped this LP are analogue synthesis, lots of heavily processed guitar work, and vocal layering/processing.” While the abiding mood remains that of late-night introspection, the production draws from elements of hip hop and a wide gamut of electronic music, marrying intricate beats and subtle textures to honeyed pop melodies that belie the album’s conceptual depth. Rarely has bleakness sounded so pretty — this is a record that’s deceptively, compellingly beautiful, an exploration of a place both discomfiting and darkly seductive.
02 Reach for the Dead
03 White Cyclosa
04 Jacquard Causeway
06 Cold Earth
07 Transmisiones Ferox
08 Sick Times
10 Palace Posy
11 Split Your Infinites
13 Nothing Is Real
15 New Seeds
16 Come to Dust
17 Semena Mertvykh
As part of Saturday’s Record Store Day festivities, Warp released a solitary 12″ credited to the pair through NY record shop Other Music. The disc features a short clip of a woozy none-more-BoC piece, plus a vocodered voice reading out the numbers “9-3-6-5-5-7″. It appears the record may be one in a series of jigsaw pieces: the record is credited as “—— / —— / —— / XXXXXX / —— / ——” , and features dead space on either side of the clip, implying a fill-in-the-gaps approach.
We obviously approached the story with the requisite skepticism, but Pitchfork now claim they have had direct confirmation that the record is legit. An Other Music employee, Mikey IQ Jones, has also got in touch directly with FACT. According to Jones: “It’s real. We were given a copy to secretly place in the racks at Other Music; we’re really psyched that it was found by a big fan!”
So the vinyl is legit, now its time to figure out what the numbers mean. I have to hand it to Warp Records and BoC, this brought back the young fan in a lot of people that might have written them off. Its funny how hardcore music fans that treat music really seriously can trash talk and the less serious more carefree listener is just geeked and ready to spend their weekend trying to decode the exciting mystery that is there.
I personally think the 6 spaces each stand for a letter and then will be converted to ASCII to text and its not going to spell out SUMMER but the album title. Any thoughts from you guys?
Spring is here! The sun is out, the parks are full of people. Put your shorts and windbreakers on.
Penguin Cafe Orchestra, founded in 1972 by classical musician and composer Simon Jeffes, is the epitome of springtime, and nothing short of pure class. Their first album was produced and released by Eno under his “Obscure” label.
Here’s a track from each of their first four albums. Enjoy.
Gold Panda is back and announces his LP release date along with sharing this catchy single, you’ll never guess the name of it after listening to it all the way through.
My “new” favorite artist who’s been featured on the blog many many times is hands down Dirty Beaches, its like someone shot morphine into Suicide and took them on a 4 am chaotic pick up truck drive through the outskirts of Mexico City.
A huge one from Thundercat, nails the feeling and shows off skillful musicianship among the crowd of beatmakers.
Junior Boys’ singer Greenspan gives Lusine’s single a makeover, soo glad to see him around producing, I miss all the JB material.