The mind behind some of the funkiest trap music in the scene came out with a five-track extended play yesterday. Harry Bauer Rodrigues, better known by his stage name Baauer, has accomplished major feats while keeping a low profile. After the explosion the entire Internet had with “Harlem Shake”, Harry has engineered a sound that makes him more than just a one-hit-wonder. With collaborations with Jay-Z, Just Blaze, Boys Noize, RL Grime, and Soulja Boy, as well as remixes of Disclosure, The Prodigy, Nero, Flosstradamus, and No Doubt, Baauer has made his name mean something original and eye-opening. After a few months dropping a few songs, Harry has finally dropped his latest creations on a brand new EP called ß (beta).
The first track is a collaboration called “One Touch” with AlunaGeorge and Rae Sremmurd. In the most ominous manner, this song creeps with dark bassline and AlunaGeorge’s hook. Rae comes in with two verses that take the instrumental up a notch adding a level of aggression and vigor to this incredibly sinister song. AlunaGeorge comes out with her own verse that surprise listeners like myself with her ability to keep a high-note while keeping a in line with the dark tone of this song. In short, “One Touch” is an excellent song to kick off the new EP with its mysterious sound and vocal assistance
The second song on this EP changes tempo but keeps to the shadows with sparse, dark kicks and distorted, xylophone-like melody. The track “Floreana” is feels like an audio hallucination all together as every second passes listening to it. This is not the song to fist-pump and jump around to. This is the track that you sway side-to-side falling in line with its hypnotic beat. It gradually gets more intense as it’s light-notes and heavy bass spiral in a simultaneously subtle and alarming way.
From the trippy experience you get from “Floreana”, listeners roll right into “Boog” and its tribal mood. With vocal chops of some chanting, wooden drumming, and bpm switching galore, this song sounds simplistic and actually sounds diverse. This song emphasizes its bass over anything else and hinders only in not making any of the other sounds more prevalent throughout the song. However, “Boog” is more likely the song listeners can “turn up” to versus the other tunes in the EP.
Enter “Swoopin” that doesn’t break from the bass-heavy atmosphere of the ß EP. It may not be the crown of the five tracks, but it is almost there. This song has a very villainous feel to it as it uses what sounds like shells clapping wildly against each other as background noise behind cataclysmic basslines. In some way, it is sort of terrifying to listen to alone (which I have done a few times by now), but is so addictive for those who appreciate ear-shattering bass.
The final song in this EP is a VIP mix of “One Touch” and is an incredible conclusion to the ß EP and for all Baauer fans. This version removes the rapping of Rae Sremmurd and leaves behind AlunaGeorge’s high-pitch singing. A collusion of drums set up this tune’s vocal-chop hook of singing words repeating the phrase “Toca Me” to bring back the hypnotic feel this entire EP has emanated from the very beginning. Expect to hear this song in many of his sets, because this song is fire and vibey all at once.
Take this EP as what it is meant to be; a journey away from festival trap and into something more interesting. Baauer has taken what it means to be a true musician and expanded beyond becoming another trap lord. Much like RL Grime, Baauer has pushed the envelope into territory that may not be entirely new and yet he is making it a more comfortable space for open-minded listeners. This EP isn’t just “Turn Down For What” music. Rather, this EP is a piece that you can listen to with the comfort of big speakers or head phones and become lost in the music. The versatility in sounds and the harmony of its tone shape this EP to speak more volumes than most albums in the EDM scene, which is what makes this extended play worth listening to.