Review: Beagle – Habitats_01

Beagle drops a double-header of breakbeat-laden electro goodness with his Habitats_01 EP, out today on the Agency 12 imprint. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes a listen to two atmospheric productions.

Those heads who make knowing electro and breakbeat their business are also likely to be familiar with exactly how well the two sounds marry together. Beagle, AKA UK producer Bradley Eagle is one such individual, and his productions stand as testament to his dedication to both sounds. His latest two-track, Habitats_01, which he releases today on his own Agency 12 imprint, veers not from the origins instilled in him during his 25 years of production experience.

Previous excursions from the producer (who started out composing within the cult tracking software, Octamed, on his Amiga home computer) have seen him releasing under the NARC moniker, which comprised Beagle and Diplomat, for one release – the  Small Hours EP, which saw light of day thanks to 90s breakbeat and hardcore label, Bogwoppa Records. His production style may have changed slightly since 1993, but his ear for a natty breakbeat or pulsating electro bassline has never left.

Habitats_01 kicks off with the atmospheric vinyl snaps and pops of Random Response, as the top end of the breakbeat balters into the fray, scattering like droplets of effervescing liquid nitrogen across the top of cavernous string swells. This is a moody little number if ever there was one, which acts as the perfect union of melancholy and futuristic dystopia, portrayed as sonic imaginings.

Beagle‘s second crack of the whip comes in the form of Beats Working, which has a vaguely Eastern feel to it, as if sino-grime had ran headlong into breakbeat, resulting in a euphonious hybrid that would feel at home within a number of DJ styles. While it starts off along a fairly minimal trajectory, the midpoint of the track ushers in suspenseful string pads and a busier percussive break, giving the track a tense quality.

It is always a wonder, to me, how modern technology allows us to stumble upon exciting artists to whom we have never been exposed, and Beagle is one who we will be following closely having taken a listen to this wonderfully hazy, mystical record. Take a listen to Habitats_01 below, and if you like the sound of it, grab a copy of the digital release here.

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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