The second album from New York City’s Bowery Electric was released in late 1996, less than 15 months after their self-titled debut, but it found them having traveled light years musically in the interim, the group having seemingly decided to see how far they could take the guitar/bass/drums/vocal setup into the atmosphere. Every aspect of their approach had been refined and focused: squalling, distorted guitars had been transformed into hazy, sensual sheets; the live drums transmuted to sampled rhythms more in debt to the blossoming downtempo sound of the day; bass lines reduced to their most basic diagrams; vocals submerged to become one with the narcotized fog of the instruments; even the lyrics were reduced to a few minimal lines used sparingly so as not to overshadow the dynamic. Beat is a lush and dense mantra of shadowy percussion, barely-there vocals and immersive drones that envelops the listener in an opiated blanket of sound. Includes the bonus track “Low Density,” not featured on the original U.S. release.

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