There’s something charming and secretly dark about Beatenberg’s debut album “The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg”. It starts with finger snapping tunes that soon remind you of feeling sad in a beautiful landscape. There’s a sense of longing that’s been replaced with a whatever attitude. Fuck this shit and have a good time.
Intelligently arranged and composed it speaks of disciplined music created with detail and precision. The recording is gracefully clean, maybe too clean, who knows, but it’s easy on the ears and could be listened to at high levels. You can turn it up to eleven.
With wet, humid drum sounds and beach bonfire guitar riffs accompanied by beautiful wooden floor slides that make you feel like your in an old house and the vocals are narrating your somewhat bizarre adventure, it’s an expression of maturity and letting things go. The album walks on air with barefoot swag and twisted pounce. Cool shiny glass sounds and organic bay area blues make up the finishing touches of an album that moves you but not enough to care.
My favorite track is “Chelsea Blakemore” because I like catchy songs that directors will soon use to make their scenes look cool. Then there’s “Pluto”, a song about yearning which is done in the most whatever way possible.
It’s a great album with mind blowing production and some of the best drum recordings I’ve ever heard. It’s a clear indication that the South African music scene is blowing up like a balloon with a grenade in it.
The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg is now available on iTunes or you can get a hard copy at any of their shows.
WORDS|Ivan Serfontein PHOTOS|Ross Garret