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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

July 13, 2010 at 11:33 AM

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Download this: local act Beat Connection's "Surf Noir" EP

Posted by Andrew Matson

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"Sunburn" by Beat Connection

Judging by a few preliminary listens, Seattle duo Beat Connection's new "Surf Noir" EP is mostly instrumental synthesizer/programmed drums headphone music sometimes overlayed with indie pop vocals. I like it a lot.

There's a guitar line in the intro track "Sunburn" that could be accurately described as surf noir, but the release's title is maybe also a figurative nod to the zephyr of straight-faced two-stepping wistfulness that runs through its eight freely downloadable songs, a mood set to music by UW students Jordan Koplowitz and Reed Juenger (both are music bloggers of note; the latter used one of my videos of The xx for a concert review). Which makes me think...

What's with all these current and recently former Huskies and their soulful rounded-edges softsynth/sample grooves? I don't know whether Chocolate Chuck, USF and Beat Connection all know each other, or whether the groups' members (all men) just happen to be onto a similar chillwavey vibe with their music, Huskies, and the same age (early 20s). Perhaps it's the ghost of Animal Collective haunting America's college campuses. Could be a Rainy Dawg Radio connection. Could be something about mainstream pop's current atmospheric R&Bemo environment. Could be contrails left by a few slightly older early-20something former Huskies, THEESatisfaction and 10. 4 Rog. Could be none of the above and I'm just connecting the acts' music because I'm listening to all of it at the same time.

"Surf Noir" just slid into my Summer in Seattle heavy listening rotation next to Justin Ripley's "Sex on the Beach" album and THEESatisfaction's new Stevie Wonder mixtape. All three local releases hit the Internet via earlier this month.

h/t to Jason Baxter

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