Published Nov 13, 2015Beta Librae is the moniker of New York DJ and producer Bailey Hoffman, and Swope Park, named after a green space in her native Kansas City, is her recorded debut. It's arriving on Vancouver's cassette label 1080p, and fits well into the label's leftfield aesthetic.
Swope Park is a collection of easy-going and buoyant loop-based techno tracks that are at once accessible and subtle, and that don't sacrifice substance despite being very easy to listen to. The mood is a cheery one, and Hoffman programs her beats with an appealing sprightliness.
Hoffman displays a commendable clarity of vision throughout Swope Park, clearly committed to just a few pieces of gear (a Korg Volca Sample, Korg Electribe and Blofeld synthesizer, she says) and confident in the sound she's after. The result is an LP that coheres well into a singular whole, even if, at times, it feels like it recycles its ideas. Crisp, cascading synths routinely settle into 16th note patterns, and throughout the record Hoffman returns to juggling simple four-beat loops.
Hoffman hasn't broken any new ground on Swope Park, but she has delivered a satisfying album that will put a spring in your step. (1080p)