June 19, 2024

Beak> – ‘>>>>’ – “the mash-up of your dreams”

INVADA 28th May 2024

I love Beak>’s album naming convention. Since 2009’s ‘Beak>’, we’ve had ‘>>’, ‘>>>’, and now, six year’s on from the last, ‘>>>>’ (I’m ignoring the one soundtrack album because it spoils the story…). So far, so Led Zep. I also love what they’ve done here, going back to the Can-isms of the early days, while initially laying a trail away from the assumption. Starting with slow, dreamy organ and vocal, soundtrack-ish, almost liturgical, they warn people off looking for a quick motorik fix. But they can’t help themselves, building rapidly through the set to full-on head-nodding strict tempo fun, with plenty of Geoff Barrow’s tight-beat drumming along the way.

Just as the first album was consciously created from sessions recorded live in one room, edited to fit the desired shape, as Can used to do, this has been created in the same way and as an artistic artifact. Designed to delight Heads (as in hippy type deep groovers), the set is intended to be listened to longform – in one go as an album. The groove goes deep and the noodling is just as it should be. Songs and pieces surprise and vary from the rhythmically inclined to songs like ‘Hungry Are We’ that resemble part of Pink Floyd’s ‘Obscured By Clouds’ beamed from the seventies and passed through the Beta Band.

Released as a surprise for their own hidden reasons, this came without herald, advance press releases or sneak peek singles, simply arriving fully formed one day. Mixed with slow, meandering pieces, bent sounds, twisting keyboard notes, faster toe-tappers and occasional surprises, like the heavy guitar sounds of ‘Denim’, or the New Order-ish sequencer and bass of ‘Secrets’, make the set into the mash-up of your dreams. It is a collection that flows like an album should, serving as a solid three-quarters of an hour of inner head space, with much to discover or wallow in on repeat listenings. The sense of musical telepathy is strong and this feels organic in its wholeness as well as in it being healthful and good for the ears.

About Author