You’d be forgiven for thinking that Miami’s Greg Beato was slightly older than the tender age of 19. His first release on Funkineven’s Apron imprint was pure lo-fi hardware worship with an experimental side, equipped with a sense of restraint and maturity that made it stand out from the recent glut of analogue drum work-outs that seem to be in vogue at the moment. At the age where most of us are only just getting to grips with clubbing, Beato is churning out emotive Detroit and Chicago flavoured deep house and techno that stands up against the veterans.
It’s no surprise that L.I.E.S., current champions of the US underground, brought the youthful Beato back across the pond to his homeland to deliver a fresh selection of cuts. The EP is a smart selection of rough and ready jacking house tracks with a distinct taste of the urban, with Beato bringing none of his hometown’s sunshine, instead choosing to go underground with music for dingy, sweat-filled basements.
Lead track ‘PMA’ gets the EP off to a ripping start, with a looping squelching baseline rumbling relentlessly, with discordant synth stabs piercing the mix. The result is unsettling but compelling, with sporadic skeletal percussion adding to the sense of unease. ‘Hawo’ is a somewhat more welcoming affair, with rich, warming pads dominating the mix, conjuring a sense of opiated euphoria. Crunching kicks are submerged deep in the mire of muddy atmospherics with prominent shakers seemingly the only thing driving the lumbering groove through the haze. ‘Gimme A Light’ ups the intensity once again with a frantic drum workout coupled with an off-key lead piano line akin to Marcellus Pittman, picking up where PMA left off in terms of unsettling yet undeniably danceable composition. The omnipresent bounce of tuned toms coupled with clicks and ticks that fly all over the place to get bodies moving, as the lead melts away into the acid-tinged squelch of pensive synth stabs to move the track to mellower territory.
If Beato’s current output is anything to go by, the youngster could well have achieved more as a teenager than many have throughout their whole career, with an approach harking back to a simpler time for electronic music whilst refuses to be bogged down in nostalgic awe of what’s gone before. At this rate, it won’t be too long until he’s regarded in the pantheon of producers more than twice his age.
‘PMA’ is out now on L.I.E.S