If you’re looking for a full-service show, Beats Antique can serve it up. David Satori and Tommy Cappel -- the two principle musicians in the Oakland, California, trio -- are educated musicians with a knack for Middle Eastern culture and world music. It just so happens they’ve also got a fascination with electronic music and evolving technology. If Gypsy-electronica ever needed a revival, these are the guys to do it.
Their approach is far from customary -- live instrumentation blending with live Ableton edits -- but so are their origins. Their third member, Zoe Jakes, is a world-class belly dancer and performer. The trio originally formed to create atmospheric backdrops and soundtracks to Jakes’ work, but the project took on a life of it’s own. Shortly thereafter, Beats Antique formed -- a worldly-minded electronic group with one foot in academic studies of world grooves and the other in gadgets and wires.
“It used to be dots on paper, but now it’s blocks on a screen,” jokes Cappel.
Their set was one part live show, one part electronic and plenty of performance. Handfuls of dancers paraded on and off the stage in a variety of colorful costumes and added percussive subtleties through the show. It was like watching Gogol Bordello wake up from a coma in the middle of the Las Vegas strip.
Beats Antique Q&A
After their set, Cappel and Satori sat down with RedBullUSA.com to break down just what’s happening in out in Oakland, the endless supply of old world musical influence and the outlandish offerings over at their latest Kickstarter project.
Tons of Burning Man performers, young street artists and DJs like Bassnectar and yourselves call Oakland, California home. What’s in the water out there?
Cappel: The thing about the Bay area is that it’s relatively small. Oakland, specifically, is where all the artists moved to once San Francisco became too expensive. It’s a great community -- lots of parties to play and lots of opportunities for people to express themselves.
What initially drew you to combining traditional instrumentation with very modern technology?
Cappel: It’s a natural progression. As a musician, you study the past. You want to push boundaries, but you have to understand the things that came before you to do that. Modern technology obviously helps with that. Honestly, I love sample-based music but we like to create the samples ourselves. It’s just a matter of using what we’ve learned and experimenting with the new stuff that’s rapidly becoming available to us.
Satori: Personally, I’m really attached to the soul of the old world. The history of that music is so deep and engrained. It’s sort of timeless, you know?
The video for your latest single, “Revival,” was funded with help from your fans via Kickstarter. For this new video, you’re looking to do the same but are offering a laundry list of bizarre incentives for the $10,000 donation -- a live DJ set, a BBQ with the band, a game of mini-golf, a “special love poem” (whatever that means), a personal theme song written by the band and a date with Cappel.
Cappel: The cool thing is that I haven’t been on a date in about 2 years. That’s just a way for me to get out of the house. Unfortunately, we have to charge for that.
Follow Red Bull on Twitter for the latest news and exclusive info.