Somnambule - Writing About Music

Beans ~ Shock City Maverick

Beans steals in with whispers, only to be swiftly overtaken by cool crisp beats and assailed by synthetic alarms from the techno zoo. Beans is a rare futurist in a hiphop world mired in golden quicksand, he’s a beacon for those who know that growing is about moving forward. After all, looking back might turn you to a pillar of salt, remember? Beans acknowledges that the sci-fi future is now. You may not know where he’s coming from (NYC-born, Brooklyn Boom Poetic Collective to Antipop Consortium to Beans solo) or even where he’s going to (take a random dip into his wordplay on “Interval”: ‘olympic competing blue hunch-backed whales trying to figureskate’), but you know his message is urgent. The sum of sound, word and image has to be attended to, the clattering pileup goes so far as to recall the affect of free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor. Beans makes his music out of anodised steel, shiny pvc, glistening chrome. Beans and his machines are in perfect tune, they jostle each other, but it’s just horseplay. Beans is a cut and paste comedian in an all too serious world. Beans knows space, doesn’t need to deliver wordplay on every track, instead supplies notable instrumentals such as the brilliant and entirely unexpected cello/synth duet on “A Force On Edge” and the church bell-ridden “You’re Dead, Let’s Disco”. Shock City Maverick is hiphop for the digital generation as it grows into the biotech generation. Make the effort, swim in his slipstream. You need to.
Colin Buttimer
November 2004
Published by Grooves magazine