If you’re looking for something punchy, neoclassical, and semi-abstract, and that leans toward strong musical flavours, you can’t go amiss with the avant-garde duo BEAU BOWEN and their Flame of Love.
If you’re a fan of “Kimono My House” Sparks, perhaps with some of the supernatural essence of Björk — and the mechanical proficiency of Psychedelic Mangoists Pond — you’ll be a little closer to embracing the beauty & variety of the BEAU BOWEN sound, even though, of course, you’ll never be close enough to absolutely determine it.
It is a sound that must be discovered through repeated listening. This is music that demands intimacy! These auteurockers have even created an ingenious visual package that runs for over 40 minutes and synchronously delivers a multi-dimensional myriorama during a live show that, they say, will add tactility and bring about perceptions of motion & depth.
If you add in the Taiko rhythms, the juxtapositions of harmony, and some pretty incredible synth & guitar spectacles, you’ll find their achievement is somewhat akin to synthesiser genius Wendy Carlos perhaps jamming with glam rock guitarist Mick Ronson at a Zawinul Syndicate reunion gig (perhaps taking place in Shangri-La!) So think: unusual grooves, oscillating rhythms, ambient soundscapes, and abstractions from diverse musical cultures... all delivered with the raw energy of explosive rock ‘n’ roll.
The experimental rockers DRU & KAY ROSE aren’t new to creating artistic cutting-edge sounds. BEAU BOWEN'S inaugural album, “The Great Anticlimax” (delivered on 10th April 2020) was an act of “irresistible retro-romanticism...” [RAW RAMP] that came packed with pastoral pastels, metaphysical detangles, and orchestrated washings. It was as if Prince, at his most translucent and quirky, had met Kate Bush, perhaps in the mid-1980s, at the Miskatonic University, and they dared to catch the moonlight together. Yep, together Dru & Kay invented a new genre: artsyche musiclecticism.
You may remember Kay Rose as the multi-talented scholar and glamorous alter ego Kaleb Mckane. While bassist & vocalist Dru Rose is an accomplished theremin, songwriter / performer, a talented percussionist with the Japanese percussion team, Joji Hirota’s London Taiko Drummers, and a recording artist in her own right, having uploaded a supernatural mystical solo-album, titled “Wonderful World” back in 2018.
How will an audience react to their work? They will be mesmerised. They will be transported. They will be warmed. The melodies are unambiguous. The lyrics are childlike. The themes are innocent. There is nothing to fear! You might choose to describe their music as art-pop, but that’s not the point, because it isn’t grandiose. It’s not toplofty or judgemental. Their thoughts are straightforward and lucid (even though they might deliver multi-dimensional complexities). In fact, the Flame of Love is utterly come-at-able!
Just one skitter across the surface of these sounds will teach you all you need to know: they love music, they love performance, they love one another. They ask that the audience respects pure music. Is that controversial? Yes, maybe it is! In the 2020s, we expect popular music to serve a purpose: to sell a product, to benefit a pocket, to boost a career, or to motivate a business venture. But this music serves itself.
In our rush to industrialise popular sounds, have we lost something? BEAU BOWEN thinks we have lost a link with the eternal heartbeat within artistic performance, and we have lost a link with a musician's bare soul as he/she struggles with human emotion! That’s why they tend to use dirt-pan instruments, analogue equipment (whenever they can), mouldboard beats, fuzzy solos, greasy vocals (loops are never needed), and dishrag aesthetics (the couple wore plain bin bags for a recent photo-shoot!) Not that their work isn’t architectural or grand (because, oh yeah, it is), but it’s because it also espouses a simple horizontality that (probably) masks the exotic craftsmanship they both offer. The “human feel” develops from the harmonies & textures they produce within their auditory murals.
Are you ready for a surreal, interdimensional, and mellifluent future? You better be because BEAU BOWEN are on the way! And your future and theirs starts with a Flame of Love!
— Neil Mach November, 2021