Photos: Beacon Blends Electronic Grooves and Smooth Lyrics at Rickshaw Stop

01/29/2015

Wednesday fans at the Rickshaw Stop were treated to a wide spectrum of electronic genres from acts Running in the Fog, Lord RAJA, and headliners Beacon. There was a surprisingly large crowd out on a weekday night and they filled the space with plenty of energy, dancing, and talking over each other between sets.

Running in the Fog, the moniker SF-based Amanda Harper, opened with a slowed down house beat and soulful female vocals. The music at points reminded me of a classic jazz singer set to heavy synths and drums, while other songs sound like straight up 90s R&B, baby-making music.

They were followed by Lord RAJA, an artist on the Ghostly International label, who spun a mix of psychedelic drum and bass, maybe some acid jazz– basically the whole kitchen sink. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am someone who mostly listens to pop music these days, but it was interesting to see real innovation and experimentation live. Lord RAJA is on the fringes of several genres of electronic music and manages to bring together sounds that many would disregard to create some damn good music.

The night was capped by Brooklyn-based duo Beacon, also on Ghostly, who jumped right into new tracks off their EP L1, released in December, playing the first two tracks “Fault Lines” and “L1” back to back. The rest of the night they mixed in some classic tracks with other new songs for a set that had to please their fans in attendance.

Earlier this week I described their style as a “blend of electronic ambient beats with R&B inspired lyrics.” Seeing them live definitely brought out a new dimension to the music. I was struck by the creativity of the beats, something I might have overlooked because it tends to be so mellow on recordings.

I definitely recommend their new EP to anyone looking for really well put together, complex electronic music. Beacon & Lord RAJA are continuing on their tour together, hitting LA and San Diego this weekend before heading back to the east coast.