There must be something in the German air that propels all this amount of musical and rhythmic ingenuity. From the pioneering propagators of industrial music Kraftwerk to Krautrock icons Neu!, and Can, there is no shortage of pioneering German acts that shared in the creation and helped to popularize a massive sector of today’s experimental, industrial, and electronic music scenes, and still to this day, the Berlin electronic music circles are regarded as some of the world’s most revered and fruitful ones worldwide with acts such as Nachlader and Moderat being internationally renowned.
Beatdenker might be considered a musical outcast, creating music that will appeal to only a select few that will be able to truly appreciate the depth and intelligence behind his seemingly lighthearted and humorous approach, but as an associate of that Berlin scene, the bug of ingenuity did not spare him, and the output is music that’s filled to the brim with sophisticated and extremely dense musical atmospheres and rhythmic structures, so complex that they appear at once fragile and terribly delicate, that they will collapse in on themselves with the removal of a single kick, and tough castles of fortified, impregnable passages of endlessly intricate music.
Ethic Endless Fun, Beatdenker’s latest album, is a collection of sounds rich with character and charisma, with a polarizing sound that will leave you either in awe of its nuanced grandeur, or totally lost between its endless layers of interfering sounds. Built-in a purely electronic manner, the music on this release completely revolves around synthesizers, drum machines, and loopers, and the infinite wonders therein. The layering on this collection of sounds is dense and usually difficult to interpret, the rhythms complicated and nuanced, and the output is more often than not jaw-dropping. Stress-inducing at times, with flickering textures pit against layers of interfering basses, and almost entirely hypnotic throughout, with the, puffed up timbres, and aesthetically compelling atmospheres that practice the sneaky art of hypnosis through information overload, which is a term I just came up with, so don’t take my word for it.
The notably high production standard is a lifesaver. With a collection of sounds so dense and rich, and based on the nuanced interplay between more-than-a-few layers, it’s very easy to envision this whole construct falling to pieces with a subpar production, but the fact is that the production is incredibly nice and accommodating to the massive amount of layers and instruments, a considerable feat that deserves considerable admiration. It is also cause for admiration that throughout this entire album, Beatdenker managed to effortlessly evade using any beats or passages that use common time, or even usual beats of any remotely common musical style. Instead, every passage seems to be a self-contained rhythmic idea, pulling from a massive list of influences, contemporary’s and non-contemporary, from Aphex Twin’s bewildering atmospheres to the great Jazz improvisers and their startling, fluent choices, and the towering, rhythmic nuances of Carnatic/Indian music, for an end product that, while not readily accessible to the masses, will have no hard to time finding its connoisseurs and admirers from lovers of this style of music.
As a listener, I felt compelled to appreciate Ethic Endless Fun, with its hypnotic effect and dazzling complexity, as a musician/producer I felt in awe in the presence of the many feats that this record is full of, and as an artist, I was stuck admiring Beatdenker’s dedication and unfaltering vision that easily stitches the endless knots that form these 9 pieces of music. A must-listen for lovers of this kind of music.