Beat Detectives

Climate Change

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AllMusic Review by

Climate Change marks the vinyl debut of lo-fi house experimentalists Beat Detectives after several cassettes, but they haven't upgraded their aesthetic, as their sound continues to have a blown-out, basement party vibe to it. The album opens with the sounds of humming and laughter, which are quickly succeeded by crashing, distorted drum machine beats and bass, as well as snippets of backwards voices and Oakley Tapola's casual, echo-covered vocals. Her vocals appear on many of the album's tracks, but they never seem to guide the songs or provide structure. Rather, it seems like she's just the main one dancing near the DJ at the party, and her voice cuts out of the music louder than everyone else's. A few songs like "Dead Girl at a Party" and "Battery Life" suggest a sinister side to the band, but it seems to come with a knowing smirk. There's even a moment during "Psychic Interlude" when a giggling voice inquires "is this a Beat Detectives song?" Even as they seem to delight in pushing grubby, goopy sounds out of their machines, Beat Detectives have a clear reverence to '80s house and boogie; "Sands of Slime" plunders the S.O.S. Band's oft-sampled "The Finest," and any number of Chicago house classics could be source material or inspiration for many of the album's track. There's a hint of Prince Rama-like mysticism to their work, but the Detectives seem far more interested in creating squishy, mutated grooves rather than attempting to build some sort of concept. This isn't a problem, though, as their messy, laid-back rhythms and playful sense of humor prove to be more than welcoming, making Climate Change an apropos soundtrack for a carefree soirée.

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