For years, Proximal Records has been one of my favorite smaller labels co-existing within the vast musical ecosystem of Los Angeles. Founded by Carl Burgin (aka Sahy Uhns) and award-winning producer Jeff Elmassian during the height of LA’s broken-beat scene in 2009, Proximal Records has always stood out from the pack by releasing bold, conscious electronic music that defies genre and represents the benchmark for musical authenticity and integrity in today’s ever-shifting musical landscape.
Among several superb releases from artists like Benedek, Wake, and Lawrence Grey (and even guest appearances by Daedelus and Tokimonsta on Proximity One: Narrative of a City), the Beat Stew series has been a staple release and served as the perfect showcase for the off-kilter music and attitude that Proximal Records has come to represent. This most recent sixth installment entitled Beat Stew Vol. 5 (computer nerds always start with 0 instead of 1, it takes one to know one) is a break from the norm in that its content was somewhat directed by the criteria that the music be “dance music.” Regardless, the album is still eclectic and experimental as ever drawing from house, funk, electro and hip hop for a multi-layered, bass-heavy journey through the underground of LA’s native electronic music scene. From Proxmial Records:
Beat Stew Volume Five is the sixth installment of the Beat Stew mixtape series from Proximal Records. For this latest edition the only criteria given to the contributing artists was “dance music” and our vagueness paid off. Broken into three parts, BSV5 is a wild and varied journey through the sounds of artists new, established, near and far. We’re hoping that this will be a great exclamation point to the 2013 summer.
Like anything with mild complexity, not every track off Beat Stew Vol. 5 is for everyone but even the most skeptical of listeners will find something to love with such a wide range of sound and such beautiful production. The entire album is available as ‘Pay What You Want’ (PWYW) on bandcamp and you can stream it right here. Some of my favorite tracks: Banjax - Dark Triangles, Co.fee - Farsi, Bearclaw – Geoffrey The Gardener, Wake – Talk Dirty and liquid.sunshine. – Breathe In
And because I can’t help myself, here’s my all-time favorite Beat Stew Vol. 2 which is available for free download along the other installments of Beat Stew here.
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Proximal Records – Beat Stew Vol. 5