UPDATE: Due to some messy grammar I just couldn't live with, this review has been lightly edited for clarity.
UPDATE: Due to some messy grammar I just couldn’t live with, this review has been lightly edited for clarity.
“Do you think they learned to play guitars just for this song?”
A reasonable enough question overheard during at last night’s Beat Connection show.
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“They’re so good recorded, though.”
Truth be told, the UW student duo sounded fine at the Crocodile, shaky guitars and all. Beat Connection’s brief computer-based set blended synth-pop with thumping dance music, and further introduced Seattle to the beach scenes and moody moments of the “Surf Noir” EP, one of the best local releases this year.
The evening high was “In the Water,” a “Surf Noir” standout performed in remixed form. I counted new developments as more complex synthesizer melodies, software-supplied steel drums, and the famous “AH…YEAH” loop from Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s 1988 hit “It Takes Two.”
The remix moved a group of bird-like 20-year-olds to dance near the stage, while the Beat bros pulsed behind their computers, goofy grins on hairless faces.
Embellishments to “In the Water” brought the song nearer to the worlds of house music and hiphop, and the same thing happened for finale “Silver Screen,” which also got steel drums added to a bass-heavy remix. It was sped up from a loping pop song on “Surf Noir” to something one could conceivably breakdance to.
Beat Connection played its first ever concert just three months ago in Ballard, and Reed Juenger and Jordon Koplowitz still look like a couple of newborn horses on stage. They’ve made big splashes in the non-physical realm since then, getting a record deal in England through the Internet (Tender Age/Moshi Moshi), and playing an in-studio session on Seattle’s KEXP 90.3 FM. Influential websites pitchfork.com and alteredzones.com have covered the group favorably, and probably will again when “Surf Noir” gets its planned re-release in a few months.
Last night’s show caught Beat Connection living parallel lives, getting its act together in the flesh, supporting an excellent EP that’s taking off nationally/internationally but most people in Seattle haven’t heard.