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Live Ben Recht MP3

An hour-long live set by Ben Recht (aka Local Fields), recorded earlier this month at the Enormous Room in Cambridge, as part of the weekly Beat Research club night, has been put up online. Recht pithily summarizes the recording as “rock anthems and 3step,” and the most memorable stuff is downright melodic. It’s a (vocal-free) mix of something along the lines of the Cure’s pop sensibility (samples of hooky, loosely strung electric bass and guitar, used to groovy effect, with touches of goofy synths) and the Feelies’ rhythmic richness (myriad segments of lockstep and crosswalking beats). But there’s more going on, the best of it these spare asides, or bridges or tangents, of stark clubfoot techno (perhaps what he meant by “3step”), quirky gizmo action and subtle metrical gamesmanship. It’s unfortunate so many bands get so much attention by aping ’80s new wave acts; all the while, a guy like Recht is quietly channeling that mess of early electronic songcraft into something unique. If his name is familiar, that’s likely due to the coverage his work on the Audiopad musical interface received around this time a year ago. Recht is a PhD candidate at MIT, crunching numbers on the cutting edge by day, but by night (or at least this Monday night) he’s an electronicist with a taste for pop. More on Local Fields, including the downloadable live MP3 set, at localfields.com. More on Beat Research at mashit.com/beatresearch. And more on Recht’s academic research at his MIT homepage, here.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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