Beachers - Off the Hook

Released: March 15

Starting out with a rather unusual idea, this latest album from London-based Beachers conjures up surprisingly complex compositions from what seems to be the simplest and most ordinary source material. It is particularly interesting considering our current world of virtually everyone having a smart phone of some kind in which the old tones, clicks, and analog nature of landline phones is quickly disappearing. Beachers takes this quickly fading artifact of the past and re-pitches, re-times, and re-tools the sounds intrinsic to it, creating something that maintains just enough of the original tonality to be familiar. 

The overall vibe of the album feels quite lonely and isolated, which may be because of the time in which it was recorded. But for me, it has a weird sense of isolation simply because of the lack of any connection (on the phone). That strange feeling when you would pick up the phone to call someone but can't remember a number, so you sit and listen to the dial tone as you try to remember. It is that feeling all through the album, but Beachers plays tricks on the listener, panning the tones around with delays to create eerie soundscapes and pitching other tones down into sub bass ranges to give us deep growling drones. 

The depth to which the various tones were extracted is impressive as there are all the recognizable sounds to include dial tones, busy signals, and the ringing tone. And then on top of that, the physical sounds of the phone (clicking button, putting the phone on the hook and taking it off) are used cleverly to supplement percussive and rhythmic sounds. It a rather creative use of analog telephony that is weirdly nostalgic but also a bit uncomfortable. 


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