appropriately named "drei" by beefcake is the third full-length album from the duo that with this release moved from hymen to young idm label thrillbeatconstruction. one can only speculate about the reasons for this move, but in the end it is not essential.
with drei beefcake takes their music even further, spanning genres and styles. the whole album is built like one track, going through variety of moods and styles. it has to be experienced as a whole, one has to try and follow its course throughout all 78 minutes of this disk.
what amazes me is how versatile this cd is, how seamlessly all those moods and styles blend together. at some point you just get tired of trying to identify every thing and simply listen, allow to be immersed in this atmosphere that despite all these changes always remains dark and melancholic.
elements of drum&bass, idm, ambient are glued together with beautiful melodies – something beefcake was always famous for. cinematic atmospheric pieces are followed by gentle idm textures, soon to be replaced with corroded breakbeats. all those elements, no matter how appealing by themselves, become merely little pieces that build this delicate atmosphere – playful, melancholic, eerie, aggressive – the whole spectrum of emotions.
the album is definitely less dazzling than their early efforts, but this flashiness has been replaced by quieter mature beauty. of course any audiophile that has heard enough of idm will enjoy this album thoroughly, because among the waves of atmospheric electronica there are plenty of tweaked unusual noises, intricately placed percussion, unusual composition; not to mention an abundance of sinister cinematic textures in the middle of the album, with occasional splashes of percussion or deep bass rumbling. those pieces might appear somewhat disjointed, but somehow I always find the underlying thread that carries them through.
"drei" does not go for the easy appeal practiced by many idm (and one does have to question if this genre affiliation is indeed correct) acts – this childish fascination with shiny splintery sounds, this drive for making something completely new, these catchy yet simple melodies. they go beyond that creating a continuous stream of music, a perfect listening album that does not allow itself to be locked within the conventional boundaries of the genre. this vision, this ability to incorporate the best of the genres and still create something completely unique is the duo's greatest merit.
I knew beefcake would not disappoint, and yet I did not expect a record this exceptionally good. viewed as a whole, it surpasses everything I have heard in this genre for the longest time.