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Calling Los Angeles’ Thavius Beck a “Renaissance man” is almost giving him short shrift, so prolific and multi-talented is the producer, emcee, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist. His career began back in the mid-1990s a producer and rapper in Global Phlowtations, a west coast underground hip hop group who released three LPs with Beck assuming engineering duties under the Adlib pseudonym. In the years since, Beck has collaborated with and remixed a spectrum of artists including Saul Williams, Busdriver, Nine Inch Nails, and Daedelus, in addition to releasing albums in ’04 and ’06 under his own name. These self-credited LPs, released by Mush Records, borrow as much from the electronic music world as they do from the hip-hop scene, showcasing Beck’s immense talents as a producer.
On January 26th, Beck released his third album, Dialogue, which featured the artist assuming vocal duties more prominently than on his previous efforts. As “Go!” illustrates, it is a welcome return; one of Beck’s most impressive talents has always been his dexterity on the microphone, spitting lyrics like fire with a tongue-blazing speed reminiscent of OutKast’s Big Boi. With a rapid-fire tempo and a run time under two and a half minutes, “Go!” feeds on its quickness, emphasizing Beck’s swift verses with a nearly frenetic instrumental backing. Vocal samples and record scratches loop in the background, but the track’s energy come from a sizzling, hi-hat heavy drum machine and some intense synthesizer arpeggios which set off in colorful flashes. If anything, “Go!” is over too soon, but it is a quintessential example of how Beck continues pushing boundaries while pleasing fans.