A Guide To Beer On The Rug’s Forward-Thinking Electronic Music

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The boutique record label and collective Beer On The Rug, was established in 2011 by a few friends who wanted to organize small house concerts for touring musicians and ensembles. It began modestly, but over the next few years, it became a reputable source of forward-thinking electronic music and fresh, raw talent.

Still, there’s a strange mystique surrounding the label. They don’t do much to describe their music; instead, they let the work speak for itself. And spoken it has: Over the past five-and-a-half years, Beer on the Rug has released all kinds of unusual music, including the vaporwave-leaning Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus, the synth explorations of Pulse Emitter, and the dark electronica of mmph. No matter the album, the music is always eclectic and uncompromising. We explore the essential releases from the label’s extensive back-catalogue.

mmph, Dear God (+ Remix EP)

Atmospheric, spacious and jittery, Dear God offers a unique take on IDM. At times spacious like the work of Nicolas Jaar, at others startling like Oneohtrix Point Never’s sonic puzzles, the EP lures you into a world of menace and dread.

YYU, TIMETIMETIME&TIME

An absolutely surreal album, in which robotic glitch meets raw human emotion and explores the vast unknown. The result is a warm, unpredictable journey—imagine early Mount Kimbie making an LP with tUnE-yArDs. The first of two long players from YYU, this is rich, spiritual music for astute listeners who believe in the supernatural.

Macintosh Plus, Floral Shoppe

Labeled by some as the “ultimate vaporwave album,” the kitschy Floral Shoppe oozes nostalgia and futurism without losing sight of its goal—depicting a virtual reality as an alternative to the consumerist world in which we live. Considered a landmark record in the genre, vaporwave barely existed when producer Vektroid originally released the album. These were chopped-n-screwed jams for alienated America Online and Windows 95 users. After all these years, Floral Shoppe still stands at the precipice of the cultural zeitgeist.

Percival Pembroke, Pembroke Autumn/Winter Catalog

These soft-sounding sketches offer tiny glimpses into Percival Pembroke’s beautiful, mystifying universe. Amid the fluttering drones and atmospheric shimmers, there’s a distinct melancholy to these songs on Pembroke. This is wistful, fleeting music that soothes the soul. Recommended listening for fans of Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works.

Aphni, Tabrecn

Canadian producer Mark Webber creates dystopian soundscapes on the palpitating Tabrecn. Combining techno and ambient music, the EP is full of hypnotic grooves and rich textures; these four songs are mystical and refreshingly meditative. It’d be easy to lose footing here, but the producer does a wonderful job maintaining control.

Pulse Emitter, Digital Rainforest

The brainchild of producer Daryl Groetsch, Digital Rainforest boasts shimmering, slightly playful synth meditations that evoke an actual rainforest. Mysterious and alien sounds appear out of thin air, only to suddenly disappear behind the digital flora, just as a rare butterfly would in a real jungle. Digital Rainforest is a moving sonic portrait, unfiltered and unhindered, the way nature is supposed to be.

orthodontrix, first visit

This album feels exactly the same way the album cover looks—warm and familiar, hazy and dreamy, but with an undercurrent of icy alarm. Heavy on the synths, the compositions patiently develop from soft arpeggios into triumphant ‘80s-inspired jams. As Beer on the Rug puts it, first visit could double as the soundtrack to a gripping, futuristic thriller.

Adam Badi Donoval

One Comment

  1. daekun
    Posted April 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I love Beer on the Rug. Ever since Midnight Television.

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