BITR8′s Best EPs of 2012: No. 8 :- Baauer – Harlem Shake EP

Baauer - Harlem ShakeLike many, I first heard this song when Rustie dropped it during his BBC Essential Mix earlier this year and I distinctly remember the moment it hit the speakers because my jaw dropped. Baauer – real name Harry Rodrigues – has been one of the breakout artists this year having only adopted the moniker late last year. He had worked previously under the alias Cap’n Harry where he produced hip-hop beats, a theme that has not been lost with the name change, however it’s now spliced with trap.

This was Baauer’s first record, released on Diplo’s Mad Decent label on the Jeffree’s imprint. Pitchfork described the song as ‘obnoxious’, an opinion you can’t really deny, the tempo doesn’t really work, the hats are glitchy and the snares over-produced, the beat changes between half-time and double-time at the flick of a switch and then cuts out at random intervals. The main riff is just three notes looped in an irritating fashion using a squelchy synth that is not at all comfortable to listen to and then there’s a random sample of a lion’s raw however all these elements add up to one of the most peculiarly brilliant tracks of the year. It’s hard, it’s gassy and it’s just made for firing up a crowd at an underground club night.

The second track ‘Yaow’ is a no more simplified affair, with a distorted vocal sample chanting “Yaow” at you for a solid two minutes. Once again we’re given a two-note melody on a glockenspiel-esque synth and the drums simply won’t stay on a straight rhythm.

With remixes of Flosstradamus, No Doubt and Nero under his belt and a debut EP out on LuckyMe early next year prepare to be hearing a lot more of Rodrigues in 2013.


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