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Go to the Beefcake website  Beefcake - Drei [Thrill Beat Construction - 2001]

After "Coincidentia Oppositorum", which I regard equally important to the IDM-genre as Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works 85-92", a year waiting for the next release seems way too long. "Drei", as the title indicates, is the third release from this German duo. They surprisingly parted ways with the well-known Hymen label and signed with the young and relatively small Thrill Beat Construction. But this didn't affect Beefcake's music too much.

The reason why Beefcake is still quite an unknown name in the scene remains a mystery to me, since the group's music is the best the IDM-field has to offer. I might even say that Beefcake has long surpassed it, and it would be inappropriate to tag these artists to that particular type of music. Instead, the duo tries to combine different styles and emotions, and with great success. The smooth and simple string and synth arrangements create an enormous moving ambience but the time you're realizing it cut-up drum & bass beats turns the feeling towards a more aggressive one. Besides that, the album also contains calm ambient parts in combination with softer percussions. The samples are carefully chosen en brilliantly placed, using Miles Davis, Dracula soundtrack, Armstrong's landing on the moon, and a pop song featuring a female voice that gets really fucked up and twisted at half the playing time. This whole album, lasting almost 80 minutes with 27 track IDs every 3 minutes, is one long musical journey, and of course very varied.

In comparison with Beefcake's earlier releases there hasn't changed anything significant, which is of course something the purists will use to criticize the album, if possible. I believe there are noteworthy modifications however. The beats are more prominent but are used in a different way: more simple 4/4 beats at a calmer pace and less aggressive complex drum & bass parts (but if appearing they are more noisier than ever). This makes the album also darker than before, although the previous albums were already very sinister. Their talent for intelligent audio design has only increased.

No, I am not overly-enthusiastic. I mean it. This third Beefcake album is the best so far and comes close to my "perfect listening experience" I ever could imagine. Let you guide through all the different kinds of moods and atmospheres on this album (if experienced as a whole) and you will be left in awe. Something like this always remains personal, but if interested, download the video from the website to hear and see a (small) part of the album.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Justin Faase
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