There's not enough space to list all of Ashley Beedle's achievements across two decades in electronic music, but the fact Daft Punk namechecked the stalwart Brit on "Teachers," their musical roll call of influences, gives you an indication of the esteem in which he's held.
He was 50 last month. Age ain't nothing but a number, apparently, because Yardism Vol 1—a paean to the influence of reggae and the cult of the soundsystem on British dance music—should go down as one of Beedle's career highlights. "Run the Track" opens up with spiky, cut-up "Crystal Woman"-style keys before in sways an elastic, stomping bassline, accompanied by '80s synth drum attacks, cowbells, string stabs and acidic hints. Despite the multitude of ingredients, it's perfectly balanced party house.
The rootsy inspiration is most marked on the rolling "Only You" with its sub-dancehall skippity riddim, dubby signatures and echo-drenched rim shots. "Your Acid Life," as the title hints, dials back to Beedle's early days in dance music with a Speak & Spell vocal riding over a pogoing synth and a steady drone, while on the locked-in groove of "Inner Burning," wobbling, molar-rattling bass and itchy hi-hats are peppered with rudeboy vocal drops and more acid doodlings.
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Tracklist: Ashley Beedle - Yardism Vol. 1 01. Run the Track
02. Only You
03. Inner Burning
04. Your Acid Life