Elaborating on textures from his 2011 debut, Sun Shadows, Beta World Peace sees a continuation of Mike Gao’s signature lurching bass lines, asymmetrical percussion, and glowing synth leads, orchestrated, in part, by his brainchild, Polyplayground — an iPad app that allows users to construct melodies and harmonies using color and geometry.
Beta World Peace is a testament to how Gao — who has worked with labels such as Project: Mooncircle, Finest Ego, All City, and Galapagos4 — has come into his own, both as a techno-tinkerer and as a master of his homemade tools.
The single is bound to be “Comin Off That High” (Gao in Chinese means “high/tall” – he dedicates the song to a close friend who is battling meth), a trap-and-juke track no doubt informed by Goa’s stint as a Chicago DJ before relocating to the West Coast.
But I’m more drawn to the nocturnal strut of “Udon Quixote” (free download) and the crunchy, jagged edges of Ta-ku’s “Ausgangsta” remix (a play on the German ausgang, meaning “exit”).
Another highlight, “Withdrawn,” is a soulful collaboration with eLan, who put San Diego on the international beat radar last year after being picked up by Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records.
Album: Beta World Peace
Artist: Mike Gao
Label: Huh What & Where
Songs: (1) Vamos (2) Comin Off That High (3) Udon Quixote (4) Let You Know (5) Precipice (Precipitate) (6) Withdrawn (7) Ausgangsta