Having a close relationship with an internet audience is a fast growing stipulation for new artists coming up through the ranks. Almost everything that they put out is available directly to the audience through music streaming services, but one man inadvertently created the most loveable/annoying/viral hit single that took over subreddits, forum threads and YouTube suggested video lists for a generation in 2013.
Baauer hit the spotlight hard with ‘Harlem Shake’ and the internet, overtly, went nuts. It’s a shame the meme-esque videos over shadowed the very real talent that Baauer was putting on display here. Constant ridicule circulated shortly after the meme died an agonising death, as his name was now synonymous, and dirtied if you will, with this flash-in-the-pan, college dorm room fad. What followed was a well deserved break from the semi-shamed artist and what should be looked at now, as a renaissance of the Baauer brand.
‘Aa’ has some real aggression. It disguises itself amongst a rising intro titled ‘Church’, but comes out of the brush like a starved Lion leaping on your back, claws flared. ‘GoGo’ comes right out from the intro to become the instant club banger of the album. Its’ sinking sub bass and stabbing synth arpeggio knock you to the floor, but you’re back on your feet because you can’t stop moving to it.
Baauer even shows off a side of his that rarely makes an appearance, and that’s Disco. That’s right, Disco. Its brief, but it is most certainly there and gleams in a rather short track titled ‘Pinku’. It thumps away at a kick drum like there’s no tomorrow, but keeps you interested with the twangs of a guitar riff almost straight out of a 70’s record. It’s a real beauty, and hopefully something that will be expanded on in the years ahead.
Working through the album, one track stands amongst the rest as the absolute standard this release wants to set. ‘Day Ones’ had a starring role on The Daily Show in the build up to release and got the Trap scene stirring. Features on this track include upstart American rapper Leikeli47 and British Grime artist Novelist. What they bring to the table isn’t far from exceptional, but giving Novelist one more verse would rocket this track into the atmosphere.
Concluding ‘Aa’, Baauer brings in Future and Pusha T to up the star power on the track ‘Kung Fu’. It dazzles with signature Rap verses and glaring pad synths, but never misses the opportunity to test your sound system with it’s pounding bassline. Rustie is never far from a release such as this it seems, fading out the final moments of the collection with his familiar soundscapes, but again, he could have been utilised a lot more with a longer feature perhaps.
‘Aa’ rules, Baauer is back, and the future seems bright.
‘Aa’ is out now via LuckyMe Records
This Baauer article was written by Benjamin Bowles, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.