It’s impossible to describe Beats Antique using just a single genre. One listen to their forthcoming album, Shadowbox (released on their own Beats Antique Records imprint), and their unique hybrid of sound makes perfect sense; their ability to blend so many different kinds of music in to an incredibly vibrant, distinctive and peerless album is what this band has been doing for the past ten years.

Based in Oakland, California, Sidecar Tommy, David Satori and Zoe Jakes make up Beats Antique, who released their 10th album on October 5th 2016 to commemorate their tenth year as a band. They’ve mounted a larger-than-life cross-country tour that will take their vision to theaters across America. “Shadowbox is both the title of our new album, the theme of our tour, and our new store front in Berkeley CA. We decided to bring it all together on this release.“

Mostly recorded at their studio in Oakland (which has been around since the 50s), the Bay Area band also recorded in Russia and Israel. “We were lucky to record in both Moscow and Tel Aviv, because we had shows there and wanted to connect with the local artists. We had amazing sessions in both locations; In Moscow we recorded on the outskirts of the city in a wild Industrial complex. We ended up going through strange corridors into this plush bamboo-floored-Hare-Krishna-owned recording studio with state of the art gear. When we were in Tel Aviv, we gave a call to a local legend Yossi Fine and he helped us get time at Pluto Studios, which is one of the best in the city. We recorded with Talya Solan and her amazing group of musicians. We used elements of the Tel Aviv session to create our track “Bdna Salam,” which is raising money for Syrian refugees.” Along with Talya other features on Shadowbox include Lafa Taylor, Alam Khan, Tatiana Kalmykova, brasshouse trio Too Many Zooz (who are touring with Beats Antique), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dana Elle, Madoline Tasquin and Medium Troy Orchestra.

Shadowbox is a retrospective of sorts, with Beats Antique pulling from all of their previous work as almost a homage to the first ten years of their career. “This will be our first full album produced in Beats Antique’s recording studio/dance performance space. We feel like Shadowbox touches on all our styles from down-temp Middle Eastern influences to cinematic orchestral arrangements. The songwriting process is also different for every song. Sometimes David will come in with a melody and Sidecar will add the bass and beats, and vise versa. One thing that always makes the songwriting process unique is that Zoe creates and arranges music based around stories she wants to tell though dance, so sometimes the performance aspect influences the creation of the music.”

In June, the group premiered the first single, “Killer Bee,” featuring Lafa Taylor, on The track is “about standing up to prejudices. Just because someone calls you a killer bee, doesn’t mean you need to kill. We want people to define themselves and not be defined by what people think they should be.” In addition to being a ‘killer’ track, with a compelling music video directed by Kyrian Bobeerian, Beats Antique donated a percentage of the proceeds from their July 1st show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre to The Honeybee Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of bees.

An enthusiastic touring band, a new album also means a new tour, and since Beats Antique is all about the ‘concept,’ Shadowbox (the album and the idea) is another opportunity for them to get the creative juices flowing for the live shows. The band plan to use shadows, light, Indonesian shadow puppetry, custom-created lanterns, dance, story
telling, crowd participation and more to make sure this is an unforgettable visual spectacle for their audience.

Shadowbox, an album that is an amalgamation of the history of Beats Antique, merged with a tour that will both tease and excite the senses, shows off what this band do

Axel Thesleff is an electronic musician and producer based in Helsinki, Finland. His style is very diverse, ranging from bass heavy bangers to more relaxed and deep tracks, never forgetting about the emotion and story behind each piece of music. He's tunes will make subwoofers purr, but also deliver an emotional impact which resonates with your soul.

My musical life began roughly around the year 2000, when I started taking classical piano lessons. From early on I was very keen on developing my own melodies and little songs and got exited about new ideas. Being a slightly nerdish type growing up, I discovered the digital side of the musical realm pretty quickly and started to program my own tunes with MIDI-based software on the PC and the sequencer of my digital keyboard. During the years from about 2007 onward I taught myself Ableton Live, and really got more serious about audio engineering as I learned more and more about sound design. I kept making a ton of tracks, mostly influenced by post-rock bands like Sigur Ros and Godspeed You! Back Emperor and IDM and Indie artists like Aphex Twin, Telefon Tel Aviv, Radiohead, Burial, Gold Panda etc. I kept developing my style and taste and as I discovered the online communities like SoundCloud I got introduced to a myriad of different electronic genres. My musical taste has always been quite far reaching and broad. I started listening to metal bands about at the same age as I started playing the piano. I then joined bands and quickly became a fan of progressive metal and rock because of their complexity and possibilities in self-expression and storytelling. And from there I found all the wonderful music of the 60s and 70s. Even today I’m a member of the prog band Octopie, which feeds that side of my musical hunger. When it comes to electronic music my taste is also very diverse, and I believe that can be heard in my music. From post-rock infused IDM I started getting into 2-step and future garage which eventually brought me to the dance floor. Well, that and the fact I turned 18. This was around 2011 and in the online world I started turning some heads when soundcloud featured my concept album inspired by T.S. Eliot’s the Waste Land in their ”soundclouder of the day” series. During these times I also started studying Musicology at the University of Helsinki, where my main area of interest was sound design and electroacoustic music. From 2011 onward I released a couple of EP’s where I further developed my skills as a music producer as well as a composer. During these times I also performed my music live for the first times in local venues around the Helsinki area. In 2014 I experimented with some eastern vibes and samples from India, which lead to the smash hit ”Bad Karma” which ended up getting tens of millions of hits online and got me out of Finland to perform. I also continued my endeavors with mr. Eliot and released my musical interpretation of his poem ”The Hollow Men”. Today, I’m still exploring the same way I explored when I first started out as a ”bedroom producer”, and I’m constantly searching for the next thing that gets me inspired and excited. For me, music has never been about genres, it’s been all about self-expression and self-reflection, and I’m utilizing different avenues of music to get my inner world transformed into soundwaves. The most important thing to me is to grow as an artist and as a person. I’m keeping all the doors open to new possibilities and new experiences.

My focus is musical alchemy, and my test tube is hip hop. I have nearly 15 years of DJ ability under my belt and I'm not stopping. In Indy, or perhaps further, if you haven't heard of me yet, you will. My work speaks for itself.

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