Psychedelic drum pop
Ones To Watch - Beaty Heart

Whoever flummoxed the idea of labelling acts as ‘experimental pop’ obviously failed to understand the oxymoron that that phrase entails. Or so think the boys that make up South London-based Beaty Heart. “It doesn’t really make that much sense because pop is following a popular structure and experimental suggests that you’re veering away from that style.” They have a point.

Grammatical nuances aside, the sounds they began producing when they met in school in Kent and which then followed them when they upped sticks to London are, no doubt, veering from the median. It’s all a playful jamboree of tentative and psychedelic ambience. There’s a heavy reliance on rhythm and percussion - that stems from the drumming backgrounds of 75% of the group - and it’s all assembled so creatively below a multitude of samplers and fragments of tuneful chants. To call it ‘tribal’ would be plain derogatory, but their elaborate conclusion of “watery, organic mess”, as Charlie Rotberg describes it, somehow manages to fit the bill just right.

Charlie and co. originally gained notoriety in their neck of the woods from a bunch of intimate live shows that thrived off of audience participation: “When we started, we had more of a loose and free approach,” he continues. So much so, that on one momentous night, drums were given out to the crowd so they could get involved in the free-for-all ruckus. Albeit before the police joined in.

Since, their product has become a bit more structured. The introductory three-track EP fuses lush melodies and gentle percussion on ‘Slush Puppy’ with the equally mesmerizing drones of ‘Cola’. Not forgetting their video-art origins: they recently performed a visual show with a curtain made of 5,700 silicon rods at The Roundhouse. Intricate stuff, and a measure of the band’s ever-evolving fluidity. All in all, it’s safe to say we want more mess.

Words by Errol Anderson

Where: London
What: Psychedelic drum pop
Unique fact: Apparently, Charlie has tiny nipples; about the same size of fingernails.
Get 3 songs: ‘2Good’, ‘Cola’, ‘Get The Gurls’


This article appears in the October issue of Clash Magazine, find out more about the issue and how to subscribe HERE.

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