by Maisey Cooley – email@example.com – Arts & Features Editor
Imagine a live show where the band is so hyped up and decked out during the performance that even the sound guy is wearing a crazy robot costume. They have no genre and no limits. Most of their songs are as visual as they are sound-related. Their shows come with a complete set of costumes and props reminiscent of an old theater’s costume shop. They are known for percussion and rhythm. They are Beats Antique.
Their show comes from different paths converging. Based in Oakland, Calif., their sound is a combination of electronica with the guitar, bass and drums, alongside an assortment of instruments such as the glockenspiel, accordion, kalimba and string quartet. Sub-genres blend and merge between hip-hop, downtempo and glitch to create a sound somewhat tribal, experimental and seductive.
One element Beats Antique holds close to their makeup is the central visual feature of their performances: world-renowned bellydancer Zoe Jakes. Her style is all her own, combining her extravagant costumes ranging from a marionette doll to a stag in a giant inflatable white dress to a master seductress in a full giraffe-print bodysuit. Her entire performance is something of a sideshow, often involving other dancers or members of the band in her theatrics. Her presence on stage, often accompanied by an instrument, is essential to the show and never fails to be a spectacle on its own.
Their sounds are fluid and natural, having a distinct Indian vibe, which introduces the unfamiliar open E tuning to the listener’s ears. Without their distinctive style of music and performance, they would just be a band with a costume closet and some tonal vibrations. Instead, they released an album called Tribal Derivation and changed their focus from being the backup music to Jakes’ experimental dance moves to create sounds that are the driving force behind their entire performance – a truly non-exclusive, world-fusion, mixed-genre, theatrical, beat-oriented masterpiece.