Indie Music, Reviews

Beatdrop Releases Sizzling New EP: Burn Out (Review)

November 28, 2008 | | 4 Comments Share thison Facebook Beatdrop Releases Sizzling New EP: Burn Out (Review)on Twitter

In the midst of his busy life sipping Mai Tais and wooing the local Hawaiian females, Dain Olsen (aka Beatdrop) still manages to find the time to compose and produce music.  And quite a lot of it, in fact, with four full studio albums under his belt so far, not to mention the dozens of video game music remixes posted on sites such as OverClocked ReMix.

His latest release and first EP features the title track “Burn Out,” a single from his upcoming album Revolution as well as a playable song in the recently released Dance Dance Revolution Universe 3 for Xbox 360.  Also in the package are 2 remixes of the track, 2 covers of other popular artists, and a B-side.  All this for the amazing price of three easy payments of $0 – that’s right, the EP is completely free for download, although donations are always appreciated.  Hit the jump for the tracklist and track-by-track impressions.

The tracklist is as follows:

1. Burn Out
2. Burn Out (Mastgrr Remix)
3. Burn Out (Neslo Remix)
4. Need You Tonight [cover of INXS]
5. Fashion Party [cover of Ace of Base]
6. Here Is Where It Ends

Beatdrop starts the album off with the title track, “Burn Out” which begins with a somewhat subdued crushed drum intro, but quickly steps things up with a driving beat and heavily processed vocals guaranteed to turn your room into a miniature dance club in no time (glowsticks not included).

Mastgrr (of Picard Song Epic Maneuver Remix fame) takes the source in a more laid-back, trancey direction, substituting Beatdrop’s dirty synths and vocals with relaxing piano octaves and synth arpeggios.  Clocking in at almost twice the length of the original, this remix makes the most of the original material but never starts to drag or feel overly repetitive.  An excellent alternative to the original if you’re not a fan of vocal tracks.

On the other hand, if vocals are, as Dale likes to say, your “jam,” then the Neslo Mix is for you.  The vocals were fairly prominent in the original, but they undeniably command center stage in Beatdrop’s alternate take of his own track, under his remixing alias “Neslo” (hint: read it backwards).  Although the robotic effect in the original track is still present, the lyrics are much cleaner and intelligible this time around, not to mention actually quite clever now that you can hear them clearly.  In terms of instrumentation, the mix takes a less aggressive approach, featuring pads and synth strings, but still manages to retain its momentum throughout the track.

I’ll admit that I’d never heard of INXS before hearing Beatdrop’s cover of “Need You Tonight,” but after watching the cheese-tastic music video of the original song, I get the feeling I’m not missing too much.  Fortunately, Beatdrop passes on the very-80’s, leather-pants-and-open-shirt sound, opting instead for more modern distorted synths and hard percussion.  There’s a minimal amount of processing on his voice for the majority of the track, in contrast to the mechanical sound of “Burn Out,” and while his performance isn’t pitch perfect, it was most likely intentional since it adds a certain amount of personality to the track.

It’s no secret that Beatdrop is a big fan of Ace of Base, and the influence is obvious in his own music, so it should come as no surprise that he would pay homage to them.  In this version of “Fashion Party,” gone are the original vocals, instead replaced with compressed whispers courtesy of Olsen, and an ominous siren-like synth is present throughout the track.  The result is less of something you would hear at a fashion show, and more of something you’d expect accompanying an intense movie chase scene.

“Here Is Where It Ends” closes out the album with a bang in trademark Beatdrop fashion. It’s wild, it’s noisy…and it’s absolutely addicting.  I think it’s worth noting that Olsen’s work in general is great for Audiosurfing, but the unpredictability and unrelenting pace of this hardcore track just makes it an absolute blast.

Considering how prolific he is, one might take a title like “Burn Out” literally, but Beatdrop is showing no signs of fizzling out any time soon.

What do you think of this EP?  Have you bought DDRU3 and tried to play Beatdrop’s track?  If so, how hard and how fun is it?

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