Beats Antique is back with an album that spanned the Earth in search of the sound for its creation. The name of the album is Shadowbox, and in it contains a level of talent and musicianship on this record in unmatched by most of today’s standards, and combines elements that few musicians have ever even considered let alone explored. I sat down with Dave Satori of the group at Symbiosis festival to discuss the Bohemian influences that comprise the Beats Antique experience.
Shadowbox draws from all ten years of your history together. What universal elements comprise your sound?
A love for culture. We try to bring all these cultures together and create this universal gypsy feel. It’s the soul that permeates the Earth, we’re all on this planet together and each different group of people that have developed their own sound and their own thing.
Your sound has a very Israeli sort of feel to it. How do you explore those roots?
Beats Antique started as a project for a belly dance. A belly dance group needed music so we made an album and it did alright so we made a second one. We made two albums together before we ever toured. This was in the first two years of our existence as a band, and they did well so we started touring in 2009. The middle eastern influence is definitely in the belly dancing. I’ve been influenced by gypsy music and middle eastern music for a long time so it was really cool to have that as a vehicle to mash up with a more experimental electronic sound like Amon Tobin
You’ve said that Zoe designs her dances in an effort to create a story. Would you care to elaborate on that?
Every dance is a story. It’s hard to explain because dance, like music is beyond words. But she choreographs very specific ideas. She takes these influences from folk loric dance, which in Indian culture they are telling stories with their hand gestures, it’s like a sign language, and in it they are imitating gods. We did a traditional Indian dance in our set last night. She is remixing these dances of these cultures and embodying it in her own way, just like the music.
Aside from belly dancing what are some of the non-musical influences to your work?
Visual art is a big influence, as well as just the creative explorative nature of this community that we’re in. Alex Grey is a big inspiration of ours. Android Jones did our album covers for Contraption vol I and II and also Blind threshold. We did Red Rocks with Alex Grey not long ago, and he has become a good friend of ours. All the visionary artists are big influences on our music.
How do you manage to bring the Big Band element into the music?
We record. We record with multiple horn players and we just love layering the music. We worked with Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans on the album and we had them layer their horns over and over again to build this wall of sound. Yeah, we just record all the parts in order to create that depth that the sound contains.
Shadowbox is the name of your new album. How did you bring the name of that album to life musically?
A shadowbox is an environment in which you put fun little funky things. It’s an environment in which you can let your imagination run wild, silhouetting light and dark. The album is the culmination of the past two years. We recorded in Israel, Moscow, San Francisco and New Orleans with different artists and took all these travels and experiences and put them together into a little box.
You started ten years ago. Did you think your music would blow up like it has? Or did you think with the vision the results would come?
No it was just an experiment. I’ve been in a bunch of bands before and we were just like banging our heads together touring and not really making it anywhere. So it was a great surprise to us that this would happen and we’re just grateful that we get to keep doing it.
Buckley Rue hails from Fort Worth/Austin Texas. He graduated from the university of Texas at Austin where he has a degree in Religious Studies with a minor in Psychology. He is the school’s founder of Students For Sensible Drug Policy and has a deep passion for psychedelic therapy. He is currently wrapping up a novel titled “Afterlife”, about the rise of The American rave culture, the coming revolution in consciousness, and the dawning of a new age for mankind.
Check out Rue’s book, Afterlife, a story of individual and global transformation which explores the depths of mental illness, religion, life, death, and the American way of life; laying down a prophecy with the potential to reshape life as we know it.