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Camp Out 002

Uone,Sander Markey,Out Of Sorts,Caly Jandro

Beat & Path
BNP060 | 2024-05-10  
Since 2017 Beat and Path have been hollowing out a niche for their particular style of vaudevillian house music. This sixth anniversary release centres the figures who've been with the label since the start – founding members Uone and Out of Sorts (Hayden and Barton Strom), as well as festival staple and label stalwart Caly Jandro. Where its predecessor was a wide-ranging affair perfect for kick-ons, "Camp Out 002" zooms in on the quintessential Beat and Path sound: thick, restrained basslines; low-tempo percussion outmatching the energy of much faster tracks; cheeky samples from unlikely sources; and that perennial cosmic wink that permeates the back catalogue. To quote Oscar Wilde, "Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."

Dispensing with foreplay, track one ("Like a Myth") jumps straight into a bouncing, jet-black groove, with snappy claps puncturing a serrated mid-bassline. T-Bone (Tony Bartlett)'s vocals interweave the whole thing, processed to sound as if they're getting beamed in from an interplanetary radio station. It's a fearsome, stomping follow-up to the trio's more ethereal release from earlier this year, and not to be played to family members with the slightest fear of pagan rituals.

With "Lyrical Gangsta", Uone and Markey merge the label's signature flavour with a nineties dancehall influence, transporting Ini Kamoze's vocals from Jamaica to Brooklyn. Although nearly ten minutes in length, you could easily loop this one under an incoming track for another five minutes. As all good dance music producers know, the trick is to lock the crowd into an irresistible groove; once you've done that, they're not leaving the floor.

Approaching the label's midpoint, there's a broken-beat take from the vault – Uone's fresh take on one of the label's classics. The original was a four-on-the-floor chart-topper peppered with euphoric pianos, delicately incorporating samples from the track's namesake, Malian musician Rokia Traoré. In his ‘Goodwill' remix, Uone bends Caly Jandro's source material to match this compilation's tempo and understated dynamism. Meanwhile, the remix's title is a respectful nod to Rokia's eclectic musicianship and refugee advocacy (both of which culminated in her nomination as Goodwill Ambassador for West and Central Africa).

"Pass the Power" by Brothers Barton and Hayden Strom (and featuring Martine from New Zealand band Arma del Amor) cruises along at 120 bpm, showcasing the label's more progressive side with its subtle narrative development, warm harmonies and intricate bassline. Those familiar with the Stroms' Antix project will hear echoes of their rave credentials in this restrained roller.

The penultimate track is a fascinating Uone rework of one of the label's early anthems, a real furnace of a track from Out of Sorts, slowed and mystified through a focus on the original's pitched percussion. It's reminiscent of that Global Underground classic, Phonique's "99 and a Half" (I:Cube Remix), but with much-updated production and a chunkier groove that somehow amps up the sinister vibes.

Closing out the sextet is a gorgeous piece of 6/8 end-credits music dreamed up by Uone and Markey at a long-gone Rancho Relaxo festival. Some time later, Uone played the recordings to vocalist Seiki at the Rancho studios and the two were inspired to co-write the lyrics that tie the piece together. There's more than a wisp of opium-den poignancy curling through the resulting seven-minutes. As a way to sum up the label's grimy wistfulness, you couldn't get much closer than this.

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