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Mike Gao: Beta World Peace

Future beat technician Mike Gao releases second full-length album.

Mike Gao's sophomore LP dropped yesterday via L.A. label Huh What & Where.

Elaborating on textures from his April, 2011 debut Sun Shadows, Beta World Peace showcases Gao’s signature lurching bass lines, asymmetrical percussion, and glowing synth leads - orchestrated in part using his homemade iPad app, Polyplayground.


Not to be confused with the shirtcocking Burning Man camp, Polyplayground is an iPad midi controller that allows users to construct melodies and harmonies using color and geometry.

The square array of notes can be configured into almost any possible pitch space.

Gao most often uses Balzano’s space, named after and established by Gerald Balzano, a professor in Gao’s UCSD computer music program whose research focuses on “designing new kinds of musical environments using computers.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGOFBvRgHhw


“It’s basically me as an artist seeing my weaknesses and then going out there and making something to help my weaknesses,” Gao told The Reader in November, 2010.

“I’m only good in certain keys. I only play certain chords. Here’s an app that lets me play different chords.”

Beta World Peace is a testament to how Gao – who has worked with labels including 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 & 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Another highlight: “Withdrawn” – a soulful collaboration with eLan.

eLan put San Diego on the international beat radar last year after being picked up by Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records, with whom he's released three EPs, an LP, and toured Europe (after which he relocated to Berlin).


Mike Gao will be playing Low End Theory on Wednesday, January 2, with DiBiase, Lebeatski, and residents.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Xs3_CmtxUX0

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Mike Gao's sophomore LP dropped yesterday via L.A. label Huh What & Where.

Elaborating on textures from his April, 2011 debut Sun Shadows, Beta World Peace showcases Gao’s signature lurching bass lines, asymmetrical percussion, and glowing synth leads - orchestrated in part using his homemade iPad app, Polyplayground.


Not to be confused with the shirtcocking Burning Man camp, Polyplayground is an iPad midi controller that allows users to construct melodies and harmonies using color and geometry.

The square array of notes can be configured into almost any possible pitch space.

Gao most often uses Balzano’s space, named after and established by Gerald Balzano, a professor in Gao’s UCSD computer music program whose research focuses on “designing new kinds of musical environments using computers.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGOFBvRgHhw


“It’s basically me as an artist seeing my weaknesses and then going out there and making something to help my weaknesses,” Gao told The Reader in November, 2010.

“I’m only good in certain keys. I only play certain chords. Here’s an app that lets me play different chords.”

Beta World Peace is a testament to how Gao – who has worked with labels including 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 & 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” – a soulful collaboration with eLan.

eLan put San Diego on the international beat radar last year after being picked up by Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records, with whom he's released three EPs, an LP, and toured Europe (after which he relocated to Berlin).


Mike Gao will be playing Low End Theory on Wednesday, January 2, with DiBiase, Lebeatski, and residents.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Xs3_CmtxUX0

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