GamesBeat

EMU(SIC)LATION: Beck

 

If there’s a modern pop musician that can pull off the wackiest genre crossovers – and still get the best possible results — I’d say it’s none other than Beck.

To back this statement, I give you a review of one of his most interesting musical endeavors to date.

Beck – Game Boy Variations EP (2005)

Beck - Game Boy VariationsBy furthering his exploration of the electronic sounds of old, in this release, L.A.’s favorite trippy troubadour broadened his variety of eclectic musical mixes. Featuring Game Boy-injected re-mixes of the four singles from his widely acclaimed “comeback” album “Guero”, this EP is one more proof of his ability to turn an unconventional blend of ideas into fun and captivating pieces of pop music.

For this ride,however, Beck wasn’t alone; he brought a group of 8-Bit sound explorers along with him: The L.A. based “chip-hopers” – for lack of a better term to categorize them – 8-Bit and Swedish electronic noise-maker Paza Rahm.

 

 

The two choices were spot on, and it shows. The 8-Bit crew took care of the two most hip-hop heavy tracks on the record: “Que onda Guero” and “Hell Yes.” Both numbers strike a great balance between chip-tune driven melodies and the more organic-sounding beats of "real" drum samples – which helped greatly in retaining the feel of the original songs.

 

On the other hand, Paza Rahm took it all the way and came up with full on electronic versions of “E-Pro” and “Girl.” Of these two, “Girl” undoubtedly shines a whole lot brighter; by bringing the song’s tempo way, way down, Rahm turns it into a  complete re-interpretation that takes the original's pop-folk sound, drives it through an analog-digital converter and ends up with a quirky and catchy tune that’ll have that drunken friend doing the robot dance at your next house-party.

There’s not much else to say about this record – it’s only four songs long – except that it’ll definitely leave you wondering why Beck didn’t think about freestyling over the original Mario Bros soundtrack sooner. Just like the games whose music inspired it, the Game Boy Variations EP is a short, but very fun time.

P.S. I finished writing this while listening to Paza Rahm's original stuff , he's amazing.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
blog comments powered by Disqus

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat