At what could be considered both a gift and a curse for Baauer, the trap-electro producer from Philadelphia will forever be known for the internet sensation of 2013- The Harlem Shake. Fun while it lasted and forever engrained onto the internet generation, Baauer’s viral hit will go down as one of the essential electronic hits of the 21st Century. Fast forward a few years, Baauer has been trying to shake (if you’ll pardon the pun), his reputation of nothing more than an internet meme with a flurry of solid releases. One Touch alongside AlunaGeorge, GoGo!, and more recently Temple and Kung Fu, have all given worthy reason to be excited about the release of Baauer’s eventual debut release- Aa.
As was hinted at with The Harlem Shake, Baauer’s sound blurs the lines between EDM juggernauts such as Nervo or Diplo, low-key electronica crafters like Hudson Mohawke and Evian Christ, and trap producers such as RL Grime. Despite the abundance of inspirations, the album is structured intelligently, with soft, short and sweet instrumentals taking the edge off some of the brasher EDM-recalling tracks. What this gives the project is a welcomed variety of sounds, from the hard-hitting and club-ready GoGo!, to the more delicately constructed Pinku, which draws on the sun-kissed stylings of Bondax.
Despite the aforementioned, Aa is still amass with relentless and high-powered drums; trademark Baauer qualities. Devilishly pairing the venomous vocals of both grime MC Novelist, and the elusive Leikeli47, is nothing short of genius, and the structuring of the album really is a talking point. From the atmospheric soundscapes such as Church, to an all-octane rave’s necessary evil in the form of Temple, Baauer’s debut album is a lot more than drops and bass.
Verdict – WWWV