So much of modern electronic music is about how dissonance and melody interact with each other. In ambient music, we hear melody and dissonance phased elegantly as an artist crafts the two together in a thick singular sludge. In more poppy music we hear dissonance tightly wound into tunefulness, delivering impactful blows in order to provide a beat and hype to the sound.
Its the relationship and positioning of dissonance and melody that takes centre stage on bean boy’s Creature, and this relationship appears like it never has before. With Shubu lending a helping hand on Cartoonworld, we hear a ringtone-ish ear worm of a tune beset on either side by great lashings of dissonant electronic explosion. At points the clattering noises align to provide the melody with a support, a crutch with which to build in intensity. But then when the tune lets fly on its own, it simply turns to wobbly jelly. It is almost as if the story of the song is the the interaction between the powerful noise-ridden aspects and the more melodic parts, there is action and reaction.
Even in the 5-track EP’s poppiest of excursions featuring both Folie and Alice Gas, this battle between din and dulcetness erupts with the vocals and synth following a tuneful hook before we dive into a hellscape of distorted drums. These drums smash into the listener with a violent force, but a thin film of bass tone shines upon their surface, providing just enough melodic sustenance to see us through the torrent. Then a malnourished riff appears, horribly deformed by the cacophony, spouting in an almost comedically detuned manner.
There’s a certain funniness in 9volt as well. It’s almost like the main melody was all shiny and clean once upon a time, before being sliced and punctured to shreds by bean boy’s destructive percussion. The artist sticks gum on the melody, stabbing at it with violin bows. There are instruments that play out a pleasing tune, but there’s a more organic sound that so desperately wanted to provide a soaring riff that sounds more like a balloon violently letting out air. It is like bean boy has taken a penknife to the glitzy instruments of hyperpop, etching profanities onto their surface.
On the closing song, we hear what sounds like the result of locking bean boy’s percussion and melody into a room for a million years and turning the heat up. An amorphous sludge of metal and synth, firing globules of molten waste in every direction. As the song progresses, this razor sharp tune pierces its way through the cataclysm once again, the acidic muck that bean boy has created slowly slinks away, horrifically bubbling through the floorboards.
bean boy provides provides us with findings from a science experiment, mixing and separating viscous harsh noise and melody. There is a lightheartedness in the production that is tied off on a fairly austere note on the closing track. The EP as a whole has evidently undergone a precise and methodical process of production, and the listener is treated to a smorgasbord of sonic chaos.