Brooklyn-based Baauer is a 22-year-old DJ/producer who makes house music that sounds like hip-hop. All heavy bass and filthy drops, Baauer’s sounds take you to a dingy basement club, which is exactly where I was when Glaswegian beatmeister Rustie dropped Baauer’s Harlem Shake during his May 15 set at Santo’s Party House NYC, rendering a chorus of “Oh, Shit!” from the crowd.
Released yesterday on Mad Decent imprint Jeffrees, Harlem Shake is a bamboozling combination of sonar synths and snares, woven together with a lion’s roar sample and warped vocals urging you to “Do the Harlem Shake.” It’s practically screaming for someone to rap over it–just imagine A$AP Rocky’s sugary flow or Azealia Banks’ gunfire rhymes on top of this one. Accompanying Harlem Shake is the marimba-driven “Yaow!” a beat so tropical it makes sense that Diplo is a fan.
Baauer has been dabbling in electronic music for the past few years as Cap’nHarry, and started making hip-hop influenced bass music under his current moniker around 8 months ago. Part of the Trouble and Bass party collective, Baauer’s internet bio describes him as “hip-hop born from the internet.” This seems to fit – if Glasgow and Atlanta made a musical lovechild, it’d be Baauer. Accordingly, Baauer cites the raw energy of southern hip-hop as inspiration, which realizes itself in his trap-heavy beats.
The gods of electronic music love him – Hudson Mohawke and Lunice (TNGHT) dropped DumDum during their SXSW set, while Diplo and Flosstradamus have been giving his tracks some play. Rustie even featured Baauer on his BBC Essential Mix.
So get familiar – this summer, Baauer’s beats are going to be shaking up sweaty dance floors everywhere.
Baauer – Harlem Shake (download)