¥702 beefcake. polycontrale contra punkte. cd. november 1998
|enjoy the silence|
|close your mind|
|wake up and believe|
|worum es eigentlich geht|
beefcake presents sweet harmonic soundscapes, disrupted by rough drum & bass rhythms: a powerful intelligent tune to break your chaos, or chamber-music for modern electronics obsessed. beefcake are two guys from jena, germany, who mainly work as dj`s - put them both together with a sampler and they deconstruct nearly everything you can listen to. the sampler is their most important instrument - and they are really fanatics in using it. sometimes you certainly find something anything familiar in their music, but be warned, it is not like before and it will never be again. indeed it starts harmlessly, but beefcake destroy everything entirely to build up their own unique imagery. various journalists reviewed their 12" 'spontaneous human combustion' (first release) as a musical parallel to autechre, aphex twins, bochumwelt, haujobb, black lung... but beefcake manages to stand out from the crowd despite this vague feeling of familiarity, each beautifully produced track stands on its own with chrome chords. like a soundtrack, they create a homogenous atmosphere. the beats are built with unusual drum & bass percussion sounds rather than deconstructed breaks, and that's one of their strengths - the phenomenal and the perfectly arranged drum-programming. a release for the headphones as well as the club.
beefcake appears courtesy of hymen.
orkus, dezember 1998/januar 1999
die im letzten jahr erschienene debut-lp "spontaneous human combustion" bot
schon eine enorm komplexe und stimmungsvolle mischung aus industrial-noise,
ambient und drum`n bass dar, und man war versucht zu glauben, daß die beiden
klangtüftler aus jena auf ihrer ersten cd kaum noch einen draufsetzen könnten.
aber weit gefehlt. auf "polycontrale contra punkte" werden die verschachtelten
breakbeatkonstrukte, treffsicheren basslines, bizarren noises und das düster-orchestrale
ambient-zwielicht noch durch eine ganze reihe neuer klangmomente und effektvoller
sprachsamples ergänzt. weiterhin ist der anteil der klassischen musik drastisch
gesteigert worden, was manche der tracks gegen ende der cd zu phantastischen
soundtrack-epen ausufern läßt. besonders die rhythmischen stücke lassen stilistisch
ein wenig an aphex twins frühwerke oder an haujobbs letzte lebenszeichen denken,
was aber nicht heißt, daß beefcake hier schamlos kopiert hätten. das duo kreiert
eine unglaublich dichte landschaft aus fein ziselierten klängen, in die man
immer tiefer hineingezogen wird, je öfter man sich das album zu gemüte führt.
definitiv meine platte des monats!
bodystyler, märz/april 1998
schockschwerenot, was ist der mensch (hier: rainer zufall) doch für ein dummes dingchen! festgefahren im starren "cds-haben-priorität"-denken legte ich die vorliegende 12" von beefcake zunächst neben meinen verstaubten plattenspieler, natürlich ohne zu wissen, was für ein schätzchen mir da entgeht. jetzt, nachdem ich diese platte - im wahrsten sinne des wortes - endlich aufgelegt habe, schäme ich mich für mein dusseliges verhalten beinahe in grund und boden, denn was die beiden jungs aus jena auf "spontaneous human combustion" angesammelt haben, ist in der tat hell erleuchtet. "furzcoole rhythmusscheiße" möchte man schreien, und wäre da nicht dieses schmutzige fäkalwort dabei, würde ich diesen ausruf bedenkenlos empfehlen. die vier stücke bemühen sich erst gar nicht, einen einfluß der britischen intelligent-garde zu verbergen - hobbylauscher dürfen "spot-the-sample!" spielen, doch beefcake gehen viel weiter, indem sie auch elemente aus drum`n bass und anderen elektronischen spielarten verbraten. was dieses projekt am deutlichsten von der inselfraktion und miesen ruckzuck-baukasten-bands unterscheidet, ist ihr feines gespür für atmosphären und ergreifende melodien. so kommen auf "spontaneous human combustion" neben melodischen r2d2-gezwitscher sogar anständige tonerzeuger wie streicher oder eine gitarre zum zuge. ein album von beefcake ist für den sommer geplant. bis dahin heißt es, nadel zurücksetzen bis der arm schmerzt. "hervorragende scheibe, die sich kein befürworter progressiver klangerzeutung entgehen lassen sollte. sofort kaufen!"
radio show le vestibule. quebec, canada
i had read so many good things about your past releases, and so i don't have to tell you that i was very excited when i received this album from one of your projects. and let me tell you that i was totally blown away by the music of beefcake. when i first heard the haujobb samples, i automatically knew that i what i was about to experience would be special, very special... and i was right! it's true that the music of beefcake is reminiscent of haujobb, autechre, aphex twin... but it's so much more! they use such pure sounds and sonorities, and the textures are so very rich, and the rhythmic structures are intricate and complex, and the melodies... from cold flowing melodies, to majestic and intense melodies, there is so much emotions in their synthetic compositions and sonic manipulations. it is sincerely one of the best albums i have heard in the electronic genre! jean-francois fecteau
the new empire
beefcake seemed to be vanished after their debut "spontaneous human combustion".
vanished or hiding out to create an even more challenging release of "sweet
harmonic soundscapes, disrupted by rough drum & bass rhythms". beefcake
are two guys from jena, germany who are working mainly as dj`s. they can`t hide
their dj roots and so they sampled nearly everything you can imagine to create
songs with a atmosphere not known before. their 1st release was often compared
to acts such: autechre, aphex twin, bochumwelt, black lung and even haujobb.
but despite all familiarity with the acts mentioned before beefcake stands for
its own unique style. perfectly arranged drum & bass percussion sounds,
sampled classical music and chilling speech samples - a mixture which makes
this release so valuable and unresistable. album of the month feb `99. coolness-factor:
beefcake are a german duo - djs who have got together with their favoured tool
(the sampler) to construct music. polycontrale contra punkte is their second
release, being their first album and the follow up to the vinyl ep spontaneous
human combustion, also released on hymen1. shc attracted strong press response,
so following it up, i got my hands on this cd. reports suggest that perhaps
this album is not as good as the ep, but then, i seem to find that it has been
suggested that beefcake are extremely dancefloor orientated, which perhaps shc
was. but polycontrale contra punkte, while it may grow some genetically engineered
dance potential, infects me as an album to listen to in the comfort of your
own environment - appreciating the growth of melody. the first track ?! is a
short spoken piece which acts as an intro to the album and a prelude to digilog,
which features slow, lush melodies, reminding perhaps of some of haujobb's finer
moments. these are interspersed with bursts of rapid machine beats. ego-23 =
sinster bass heavy chasms + threat of more. creating a mood similar to the darkest
slowest moments of panacea as do a couple of moments on this album. as it evolves
there are some strong melodic moments concluding wiht hints of nightmare lodge's
beauty. this is followed by soak (mirror) which has an air of impatience with
its heavy machine breathing and manic fingers drumming. i think the feralness
hinted at here provides a certain dancefloor edge, without giving up its melodes
and movements. again an element of panacea in that both are eclectic electro/d'n'b
with that amphetamine glint of menace. enjoy the silence gets the induced award
for smart arsedness - as it is literally 10 seconds of silence. to collect the
award we have track 6 - the band's theme tune it seems - starting with the phrase
"beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeffffccc-ake!". bursts of electropercussion mislead - focuing
instead on the whole we have one of the albums most striking tracks. a light,
fairly simple keyboard line leads us through the complexities of the percussive
minefield. but for any suggestion that the melody is simplistic, it is immensely
endearing to me as a listener. i guess you could dance to this, but i can't
get over the joy of listening to it on my headphones - 7 minutes of joy! starting
with a hollow rattly percussion and electronics in uns - hope has a cymbal noise
as its first clear sound. but after a minute and a bit the delicacy mounts -
slow and sensuous with a female vocal. this has memories of moby's painfully
beautiful ballads with a more contemporary drum track. boop boop boop - followed
by the sound of a dial up connection - boooop boooop boooop. the connection
is made and we get a gentle lilting woman's voice. this gives another wash of
sound perfectly counterpointed by percussive guides. the "drum" sounds on this
track are testament to the versatility and range of this "tool" on this album
- rattly and dance derived, but in keeping with the intense and beatiful tune.
phenylethyanin is my favourite track of this album - easily! sein rounds off
this central peak of gorgeous tracks with a track sounding particularly classical.
the sound of a piano tells a story. punctuated and embellished by strings -
strong and striking moments. again sharing the feel of some nightmare lodge.
sweeping cresdendoes, melancholic falls from grace, bewildered wanderings. paradise
lost and found all in the space of 6 minutes. two levels of dialogue open close
your mind - one the original, one the voice over translation - one german, one
english - the shifts prevent the knowledge of which is the original. the mixture
of dialogues - voice and percussion - changes the mood of this track. stolidly
upbeat with the slow pandering strings more of a background feature. leading
into the more dance orientated sounds of tracks like wake up and believe and
+/-. wuab offers caustic beats and cries sounding short, sharp and primal. there
is a dark ambience drifting through these scaring beats - chilling the dancer
that gains that moment of transendence. lensflare is experimental cut up - off-beats
and jungle rhythms absorb and knock the listener off kilter. one of the albums
more eclectic moments, and one i think i would tip for club play, though i suspect
some would disagree. followed by +/-, where the piano keys fall like rain drops.
environmental vibrations collecting in bass sounds. shallow beats emerge from
the electronic bursts. this could easily be described as a drum'n'bass track,
but just as easily described as atypical. for the most the beats are less brittle
and the piano persists throughout like a dream. vergangenhertsbewaitgung = piano,
love songs, voices, a camera's shutter, all part of the initial mosaic. what
emerges is distinctly electronic - movements which make one think of monolith
in some ways. the album finishes with worum es eigentlich geht another spoken
track - german dialogue across a background of of industrial whirring as in
a grinder or circular blade. the sleeve itself is the only thing left to mention,
with the nice red tracing paper, slightly heavier than the standard and vaguely
textured. the writing across it is in silver, as are the insect images on the
front and back. a nice cover - but no less than one would expect from azavs.
interface, juli/august `99
beefcake represent all that is good about modern electronic music: style, grace, subtlety and effective use of technology. the best of musicians have ability to mesh together genres of music that don´t immediately appear to go together, but, when integrated with a knowing and talented hand, make a perfect coupling. intelligent dance music (the abstract side of techno) and movie scoring are the palette from which this german duo draw on. polycontrale contra punkte ebbs from the spastic and punctured beats of idm to the spacious and emotive soundscapes of the best movie scores effortlessly. powerful at points, futuristic and just plain cool at others, beefcake`s sound would work as well as the soundtrack to the sequel to bladerunner (if we were so lucky) as it would for a quiet sunday afternoon, as ist effects your dreams. foley sounds and german dialogue (there is almost no english on this album at all) pique the imagination and delicately used orchestral sounds give way to beats that would make autechre proud. fans of haujobb`s movie score sample integration will find that beefcake put daniel meyer`s work (especially on matrix where meyer explores a similar sound) to shame. while most of haujobb`s use of movie scores are obviously sampled based, beefcake are either brilliant at using sampled sounds and making them sound original or really do create some amazing orchestral pieces to couple with their electronic beats and synth fills. it´s hard to say and quite frankly, i don`t care, because either way, polycontrale contra punkte is an incredible album that i more than recommend you search out.
spectrum, issue 3
with only my recent discovery of ant-zen and sub labels (probably discovery is the wrong word - more that i decided to start obtaining some of their items) this is one brillant gem that i have had an extremly hard time prying out the cd player. also for a note, forget the name and don´t let it turn you off, as i´m sure this group chose it for reasons other than related to a certain cartoon, as any images conjured up from the name are probably far removed from cinematic break beat and cut up techno tunes on offer. much of the music works on dual levels with a relaxing drone and flow with sometimes moody beats but more often in the cut up, sporadic, scatter gun approach. scathing noise also make sporadic appearance but are always well placed and by no means overused. angelic vocal flow through the backing of "enjoy the silence" over the base of static beats, with the track "beefcake" taking things up a notch in energetic stakes with the hyped beats accentuated by the light keyboard plucks underneath. "in uns-hope" uses a well placed female vocal sample and brooding keyboard tune, over what is probably the most standard and retro beat on the disc, but the fazer and echo make it far from cliche. on one track (phenylethylamin) mixes superbly a classical violin passage (which i know but can´t quite pick), along with a no frills lounge beat. a total orchestral sample is used for the opener of "sein" complete with a classical piano solo with not a hint of a boat in sight throughout the whole track - a cinemtic piece at its best (although i get the feeling it might habe been totally sampled). break beats are again on the menu in the next track being morphed through a variety of treatments and the flow string orchestra plays out a suspenseful piece with german radio voices entering the mix at radon. "wake up and believe" is a calling to all who have not been awackened to the brillance of this dj duo, containing a schizoid & rabid beat again over low keyboard washes, with the remaining tracks of the cd playing out in various combinations of the above described elements. while the beats contained within the music do give it a techno edge they are by no means constant repetitive base kicks of the derivative kind, and in fact in most cases don´t have enough flowing passages that would make this close to danceable. these compositions are much more suited to lounging around where they can hype the mood from an otherwise stagnant morbid trance and likewise clearly demonstrates that techno can be done brilliantly without having any association with the rave type culture. there is one last thing so say about beefcake and that is that they keep a constant focus on how they produce the compositions but the wide array of samples, sound sources and beats utilised, means each track as a very distinct sound with a crystal clear studio production. although a release from last year this has quickly become a stable favourite of this one.
this release on hymen is second for beefcake, two-man band from germany. two dj's are deconstructing everything you have listened to before and assembling the sound structures of their own. this is the release that you will find yourself listening to again and again discovering sampled classical music or sampled famous industrial projects overlayed with speech samples. the harmonic chilling soundscapes are distorted with rough drum'n'bass; the breaking rhythms remind of autechre, but the textures are so rich and incredibly complex that the music is unique and unmathced by anyone else. cold flowing melodies create the powerful homogenic atmosphere that is best experienced with the set of the good headphones; the unusual chaotic beats will find a lot of followers in the clubs. this is the album that you definitely do not want to miss.
let me start of by saying hymen has to be the premiere label out there right now for new and exciting music. they have only released three things on cd and you can't go wrong with any of them. beefcake was one of them and it is an original drum & bass/ambient/techno/industrial influenced masterpiece. they hail from germany not far from the haujobb location and have exchanged mixing each other's music for remixes already. the second track on this cd even samples from the haujobb "solutions for a small plant" era track and it is used excellently. this is the second beefcake release on hymen with their first being an lp that was quite a freshman effort. this current release finds a bit more of a mello and melodic mood in parts with flowing melodies and cascading keyboards that remind the listener that there is still some great new music out on the horizon (almost literally in this case). the first track starts with a spoken word sample that is in the old style proper german, as i was told by fellow last sigh contributor stephanie. this first piece starts off the mood of the cd quite well with the efficacy of the programming and the seriousness of the beefcake nature to bring you the best music possible. "soak (mirror)" is a stand out piece with tripped out, fast paced, rolling drums in a style that other drum & bass artist could learn much from. it takes a break for some intriguing samples and atmosphere before cranking it back up again. "beefcake" is very good with a funny use of the voice effects in the beginning. quite a good bubbling track as well. "hope" is by far my favorite track. at 1:40 it gets a bit minimal and lush. at 1:56 the female vocals fade in and repeat the emotion making for a very lovely song. it brings back memories of the mountains switzerland with snow falling and my love at my side doing the craziness of making snow angels.....*sigh*. is this release industrial, you may ask? well no, not in the strict sense. it is more drum & bass for sure, but a cut above the rest in the genre. it is also quite more melodic than the rest of the stuff in that scene. to round out this release, the packaging is done by s.alt so what more could you ask for. some cds even include a sticker in the booklet, however if you order it through metropolis distribution, they take the sticker out i have found. a final summary: if you like breathing, you will like this. i can't recommend this cd enough. if you want noise thinking this might be like ant-zen since it is a side label then you are going the wrong way. if you want something creative, lush and just plain good, this is the new cd for you.
a soundtrack for the abyss of our mind. an unusual atmosphere have been created here, cold and dark, that's polycontral contra punkte. with this album, beefcake have created their own odyssey into the deep of human's feeling with a chaotic and precise structure. there is no vocals, just music, a perfect unpredictable musical experience where speech samples submerges you, gorgeous and intense dark landscapes surrounds you and intriguing sequences will leave you into a melted sensation of joy and fear. even the smallest tiny sound have the impact of an atomic bomb. to the majesty of the landscape, a phenomenal drum programming is added. the beats are sometimes calm as the water in a cold night as it sometimes furious like a cyclone. at the same time break beat and drum'n bass, the rhythm that beefcake have created is unique, aggressive in it's construction/deconstruction but harmless. rapidly, the soundtrack surrounds you, taking you to an higher level consciousness, like if your soul and brain were dancing together as your body is carefully sleeping. each sounds have their own little space and are transmitted to your ears with the careful intention to give you the best sound experience ever. polycontrale contra punkte is one of the most engaging work i've heard so far, making this album an exquisite gift to your mind and, even, your body. a pure statement in the technoid genre.
vorweg gesagt ist beefcake eines der wenigen projekte, das sich avantgarde und experiement auf die fahne heften kann. strukturen, die wahrlich nicht alltäglich sind prägen das klangbild, industrial der eben nicht so geloopt aus dem ärmel geschüttelt wurde, gemischt mit electro, drum'n'bass, manchmal eben auch groovig (siehe "in uns - hope"), aber immer total durchgeknallt. sicherlich keine scheibe, die man eben so nebenbei hören kann. das ganze ist hin und wieder mit ungewöhnlichen (deutschen) sprachsamples versehen. nebenbei versucht man auch noch in dem track "beefcake" zu erklären "was das überhaupt" ist. bei "enjoy the silence" (ausnahmsweise kein depeche mode-cover) zeigt man auch noch 14 sekunden lang, daß man auch noch spaß versteht. "close your mind" gehört neben "+/-" (hier zeigt man sich gar von einer ruhigeren seite) zu den favoriten dieser außergewöhnlich genialen cd. man wird in zukunft bestimmt noch stärker aufhorchen lassen !!!
da ist sie nun offiziell erschienen - neben "vater" von janus eine
der cd's des jahres! beefcake aus jena sind drum'n bass in seiner vollendeten
experimentalform und gleichzeitig ein monumentaler sowie melancholischer soundtrack
durch die ausgehenden 90'er jahre dieses jahrhunderts. man kann auch
drum'n bass-oper dazu sagen, die gleich mit den worten des dichtes johannes r. becher eröffnet wird und welche die frage nach deutschland stellen. bei "digilog" kommt neben den haujobb-flächen-samplesounds auch der pds-politiker gregor gysi zu wort und darf mehrmals unter hektischen drum'n bass-rhythmen rhetorik betreiben. "ego 23" hat dann seinen ursprung im privatleben von beefcake und der rhythmus ist etwas ruhiger bzw. trippiger geworden. heftig wird es dagegen bei "soak", wo die hilflose situation nach einem bombenanschlag der raf vermittelt wird und danach gibt es zur erholung bei "entjoy the silence" erst mal ein paar sekunden reiner stille, bis bei "beefcake" die frage nach ihnen selbst gestellt wird und diese mit einem verschachteltem beatgewitter beantwortet wird. gegen mitte von "beefcake" wird der track dann immer melodischer und poppiger, um schließlich in "in uns - hope" zu münden, was ein etwas flotterer trip hop mit schöner weiblicher voices-hooklinie ist. der schönste und gleichzeitig traurigste song ist das folgende "phenylehylamin", welcher einer gewissen daniela gewidmet ist und neben dem gesprochenen introtext von milan kundera mit einer süßen anrufbeantworterstimme, synthi-moll-streichern ala "twin peaks" und verpoppter melodie bzw. rhythmus aufwartet. nachdem uns dieser song so richtig schön runter gezogen hat, setzt "sein" mit seinem orchester-soundtrackscore ala "alien" noch einen drauf und nach dieser melancholie holt uns mit zwingender rhythmic die aufforderung "close your mind" wieder auf den boden der tatsachen zurück. "wake up and believe" setzt da mit seinen sandow-samples noch nach und anhand von "lensflare" bzw. "+/-" zeigen uns beefcake, wie viel man innerhalb eines tracks den rhythmus und die
atmosphäre wechseln kann. den abschließenden track "vergangenheitsbewältigung" kann man nur autobiographische züge attestieren und diesen als absolut gelungen bzw. treffend bezeichnen. das outro gibt dann eine klare absage an die kirche und den glauben - fast 70 minuten sind vergangen und ich drücke schon wieder die play-taste! die zweite hymen-cd nach architect ist also , wie auch die booklet-gestaltung, mehr als gelungen und wer mehr über beefcake wissen möchte - interview im heft! (m.f.)
other releases of beefcake:
¥003. beefcake. spontanious human combustion lp. 33rpm. november 1997