The Caulfield Beats - Garage Electronics Vol 1 (Noise Praise)

East London 'indie electronic crossover' crew The Caulfield Beats are a modest bunch. They claim that they're "not trying to be clever, just making little collages." But on their first EP, Lawrence and Charlotte Northall and Molly Dixon have come up with some exceptionally groovy electro gubbins - and no mistake.

Released Mar 4th, 2013 via Noise Praise / By Ben Wood
The Caulfield Beats - Garage Electronics Vol 1 (Noise Praise) Released in March, on new Belgian label Noise Praise, Garage Electronics Vol I does a few simple things very well indeed. Harking back to the halcyon daze of 80s electro and acid house, the self-confessed 808 State fans use bangin' metronomic beats, stuttering vocal samples and all manner of ‘luvverly’ synth noises to create a melodic delight.

Like good dub, each track consists of a handful of sounds that drop in and out of the mix to reliably satisfying effect. Cracking opener ‘Glitch-Glitch-Flame’ mixes malfunctioning arcade machine bleeps and bloops with whining synth riffs and a male voice intoning “violence, brutality, sex.” It's a lot groovier than that sounds.

The more laidback ‘Two of Sounds’ introduces some classic, ravey tropes - sampled Arabic wail, scratches and skanking reggae ‘riddim’ - to winning effect. ‘Take Push Take’ lurches forward funkily, with mashed-up harpsichord-style noise and bassy dubsteppy drops (dubsichord, anyone?), and the more techno-orientated ‘Cannibals pt i-ii’ features a right earworm of a synth hook and some tasty acid squelches.

Ironically enough, the trio then get mellow on ‘Violence’. Its spangly keys make you yearn to be standing in a field off yer box at three in the morning with thousands of strangers – as, to be honest, does most of this record. Shimmering keys and ambient house vibes abound soundtrack a female vocal sample that blathers on captivatingly about non-violence and “trying to love each other”. Aah...

‘Violence’ would have been a nice tune to end on, as closer ‘Dust Bowl’ isn't the strongest cut here, instead featuring the only bit of singing on the EP, which happens to be of a pretty weak standard. Nevertheless, even this has some acid house goodness to sweeten the pill.

Listeners of a certain age will get all gooey and nostalgic about this fine opening salvo from a very promising outfit. Meanwhile, those who didn't get the fuss when Thatcher died this week will be able to bask in some timelessly appealing sounds. This is some tasty stuff. Dive in...