Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Bloody Beetroots: Romborama (2009)

Just like one of their best jams reprises "I love The Bloody Beetroots". I've been listening to this Italian house/noise/electro duo for some time. Their music is aggressive and loud, yet it never lets go of melody. Every Beetroots track follows melody that seems simple but is stretched to its most extreme point.
There's nothing quite like dancing to a great Beetroots track, it's music that forces you to let go of all inhibitions and get sweaty. Due to the obvious amount of speed and aggression to their music it lends itself well to moshing which can get annoying when you want to let loose at a live show.
In fact, their music is so raw that the last time I saw them live they were playing as a rock band rather than DJs.

Romborama is their first album, having released a few EPs and many remixes prior, they were already a big name on the dance scene. While a few tracks will be familiar to fans much of the album is new material. It opens with the title track "Romborama" which acts as an intro to the album instead of a full on dance number. Pianos, screaming vocals, excessive distortion, menacing synths is what greets the listener. It's a threatening hello but sets the tone of what the Beetroots are all about. As "Romborama" settles its waving noise to silence the second track "Have Mercy On Us" enters with Mozartian gusto. Bob Rifo, one of the masked DJ's and the primary writer of The Bloody Beetroots material, was classically trained in music and he lets it show in his dance music quite often. On this particular number he lets go and creates a swooning epic that's cool as hell while being a beautiful composition. Think Mozart pissed off on speed.

Romborama features many guest vocalists to help give the album some weight, such as: The Cool Kids, Beta Bow, Steve Aoki, and Vicarious Bliss plus others.
Many of these songs lend themselves well to vocal treatment yet some miss their mark. The most exciting collaboration with The Cool Kids on "Awesome" falls short of expectations, and is too short overall. Maybe The Beetroots were aware of this because the record ends with the same beat but instead with vocals by Italian rapper Marracash which turns out to be the much superior version.
The best moments come when The Bloody Beetroots bring the noise; songs such as Cornelius, Talkin' In My Sleep, Warp 1.9, Fucked From Above 1985, Yeyo, House No. 84, I Love The Bloody Beetroots, are strong aggressive dance numbers that will make you move no matter where you are when you hear them.

Their slower songs are still quite good; one odd one is "Little Stars" featuring Vicarious Bliss which consists of a slow beat that sounds sort of Christmasy. The vocals seem to be two characters, one a French child and the other a bum, talking to one another. It's a weird little track but helps break up all the noise.
The biggest surprise on the album is "Second Streets Have No Names" with vocals by Beta Bow. It's an emotional pop outting that works really well as a whole and likely holds the most mass appeal out of the whole album.

Overall Romborama was definitely worth the wait fans had to endure for The Bloody Beetroots to release an official album. With 21 tracks the whole run time rides close to an hour and a half which some will find exhausting but if you're a fan then you'll eat it all up. Not completely a five star outting due to some tracks missing their marks but it's all extremely well crafted music and if you can withstand the noise, you should give it a listen.
I can't help but think that if Mozart or Beethoven were alive today, that they would be making music quite similar to what The Bloody Beetroots offer.

Rating: Roman God

A dance primer and a reference card on the rating system.

I've been meaning to do something with this blog for a while and have decided it'd be a great place to write music reviews. Specifically dance music reviews. I've always been a fan of dance music, i think the first album i ever owned was Vanilla Ice's To The Extreme... which was huge. I would beg my parents for disco records for my birthday and Christmas, in particular i wanted a Village People album. They decided against it, and got me Queen ones instead.

It wasn't until my mid to late teens that I found myself on the dance floor. At the time Toronto was booming with indie dance music and the city was quickly becoming a hot spot for all things dance. In the past few years the genre has dwindled somewhat, like a cocaine high the kids got bored and moved on to things with more substance.
I still love dance music with all my heart, the primal urge to move our bodies to a beat needs to be tapped.
Dance may be the one true way towards world peace.
Of course, like anything, dance music isn't for everyone but i think that has more to do with people looking down on dance culture rather than the act of dance.
To dance is to be happy, it is letting go, it is letting an intimate part of yourself out into the world, it is expression in its most instinctive form.

My first wave of reviews will be on records that i've been listening to for awhile and have been out for some time. Then slowly it'll become only new stuff.
I've worked out a bit of a visual rating system that works as follows:

The lowest rating for a record. This album made me want to cut off my feet and throw them at the artist for ruining my dance step.

This record had some alright jams sprinkled sparsely throughout but mostly, it's an uncomfortable improper affair.

This record is pretty fun and you'll wanna strap on something comfortable and get down to most of it. Nothing too impressive.

This record makes you wanna hit the floor with some drinks and get your hug on. A good time.

This record made me hit the floor with the power of some sort of mythic beast. It makes me want to dance with a lion.

Well, let the dancing begin.