Published May 27, 2014As a founding member of Kentucky-based noise group Hair Police, Robert Beatty continuously attempts to poke holes in the fabric of music, shattering expectations with every mangled release. Beatty also manages to confound the art world with his unorthodox yet highly engaging album sleeve designs, producing stunning efforts for the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never and the Spectrum Spools label.
Three Legged Race is the name to which Beatty attributes his solo musical output, a heavy blend of bleary synthesizer experiments, tape manipulation, and outright sonic shamanism. Rope Commercial Vol. 1 is the first of a planned series of EPs that attempts to stray from the more overt synthesizer play of Beatty's previous releases, instead delving further into the world of tape machines and sequencers. Acoustic instrumentation, albeit highly mutated, is also employed to create these shattered soundscapes. "All Ajax Dial" pairs oblique melodies with brutalist beats and disembodied radio voices. A piano is teleported into existence on "New Government" while "Aside From Each Other and Together Overnight" wobbles beneath ocean waves.
Radiophonic techniques are employed for the title track, which closes out the EP and seems to plunder the themes of all that preceded it. In essence, this is par-for-the-course Beatty, which is to say that it is a mind-bending work of art that really has no equal. (Underwater Peoples)