Mr. Beatnick – ‘Sun Goddess’ EP (Don’t Be Afraid)

As anyone that’s heard 2008’s ‘I Know All the Bitches’ will know, in a former life Mr. Beatnick was a hip-hop producer in the vein of Flying Lotus and latter day Dilla. This collaboration with vocalist Ahu paired the familiar, neck-snapping jerk with jazz keys and a swaggersome vibe, while tracks like ‘Dancing 4 Pearls’, with its swung synth bass and floating sax lines, demonstrated more of the same.

Then came last year’s ‘Synthetes’ EP: four tracks of organic tech-house that announced Beatnick’s arrival both to London producer Semtek’s Don’t Be Afraid label and the field of dance music itself, earning a spot on FACT Magazine’s top 50 records of 2011 in the process.

Now comes Synthetes’ follow-up: another EP by the name of ‘Sun Goddess’, and from the first bar of the opening title track, it’s clear that we’re in for more of the same here. A deep house beat builds as layers of low-filtered, dusty keys come and go – the heat haze almost visible rising off the appropriately named cut. In fact, there’s a hint of Café Del Mar running through the whole of ‘Sun Goddess’, with the playful percussion and restrained groove of ‘Shifting Sands’ proving another example.

‘Beneath the Reef’ has an ‘80s synth-funk feel splashed over its insistent thump, again not straying too far from the sunny morning vibes, while ‘Savoir Faire’ – its name prophetic of Beatnick’s natural feel for a production – ends proceedings on a bright note with major key nostalgia dripping off its slowly building synth runs.

While not perhaps reaching the heady creative highs of ‘Synthetes’, ‘Sun Goddess’ certainly shows a confident progression down the various avenues of disco, tech-house and ‘bass music’ in general – a journey Mr. Beatnick has all the skills to navigate.

Tom Quickfall

The ‘Sun Goddess EP’ will be released via Don’t Be Afraid on March 19.

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