The eponymous debut from Beats Unlimited is an exercise in sonic communication

In Magazine, Reviews by Editor

Image: Diskotopia

San Francisco’s Doc Sleep and Berlin based DJ Glenn Astro have a history of collaboration. The two have developed a sort of creative repartee that has seen them release original work and remixes that speak towards how they inspire each other. Beats Unlimited, both the moniker and eponymous mini-album, is largely the result of years of creative partnership and continued collaboration through the isolation of lockdown. 

Their joint effort on Beats Unlimited produces a collection of entirely provoking and innovative pieces of loopy techno and dubbed out propulsive IDM. The sonic aesthetics of the album fuse influences from microhouse and minimal techno motifs, synthesized into texturally rich and times out right weird interpretations of club music. Opening track Human Music is a deep, pulsating syncopation featuring layers of thrumming synths and voluptuous percussion. The track also showcases the most intriguing element of Doc Sleep and Astro’s joint effort; the development of a sort of spontaneous sonic conversation. The textures and synth atmospherics on Human Music are actively speaking to one another, bouncing off each other and creating a kinetic dialogue of sounds. This aural discourse continues on the ambient  Crystaline, an undulating piece of sound sculpture that features the language of a twanging, metallic alien synth. Most of the music seems to exist in a space between avant-garde sound art and dance music, possessing an incredibly three dimensional tonality in its layered approach. Optics (Digiflower Version) is the most straightforward with its deep mircohouse 4/4 pulse, but even then the track veers into moments of liquid abstraction, with chrome plated synths, pads and keys forming a dynamic chorus of machine voices. 

Beats Unlimited is the sort of avant-garde experimentation that also feels affably accessible. It’s music that is approachable in its theory, but takes you through the unexpected. The polyrhythmic journeys that Doc Sleep and Glenn Astro curate are simultaneously mind-bending and groove inducing, little adventures in melodic improvisation that celebrates the imperfect, erratic energy of the dance floor. 

Beats Unlimited is released via Diskotopia. Download it here, and listen to Human Music below.

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