Dead Beat Project
AD MUSIC 7.6.13

We enjoyed Dead Beat Project’s previous album a lot. For all its heart-on-sleeve hippy sentiments about universal love and peace, they were real feelings and the album was a picture of its creator, Oliver Goyet’s, worldview. This is more of the same but a little richer. I love the slightly Spaghetti Western flavour to the opener (Warrior Of The Light). This moves away from being pure Electronic Music, as Goyet uses a lot of physical instruments as well as synths. Dulcimer, assorted ethnic drums, didgeridoos and female vocals all feature – the woman’s voice (Gwam) speaking breathily in a way once beloved of nineties chill-out albums.

The accompanying lyric booklet is full of the sort of poetry best savoured in its original French – not for the sound but to glide over the meanings which, translated into English are the sort of thing people write in sixth form then burn soon after. We’re not here for the lyrics though; this is all about the music and something has happened here that has opened up Oliver Goyet’s music from the already good programmed electronic music to something warmer and more affecting. Samsara is the soundtrack to a dance project by Gwam and the music flows in a way more open to dance in the shifts of pace and rhythms. Some tracks – like the incessant Fire Drums or the closing Celtic jig – announce clearly that this is not a chill-out album, even though much is slow or steady.

In the world of Electronic Music there are many that plough familiar furrows, often very rewardingly, but here is something familiar but different. Regular constituents of releases in the genre are present and correct: sequenced beats and patterns, ethnic sounds, disembodied female vocals, floating melodies but this gains a rare warmth and an equally rare sense of organic realness. Dead Beat Project are a new force to be reckoned with and this flies a flag for anyone who wants to see this genre alive and well.

Ross McGibbon