Baauer will always be that 'Harlem Shake' guy to many people, but a gazillion YouTube hits later he's showcasing his prowess over album format. Well, we say that in the loosest of terms, the 13 track Aa (stream below on Spotify) clocks in at a minuscule 33 minutes.
'Church' is the starting point, with panel beating kicks making way for a foreboding ethereal soundscape. It's merely an interlude for the sharp snares of 'GoGo!', the kind of track that showcases the producer's stuttering drums best. 'Pinku' then manages to fuse early Daft Punk with their more recent output whilst still sounding fresh, whilst 'Sow' brilliantly welds African rhythms to his skittering percussion.
The last part of the album is guest heavy, the first track to feature vocals the bombast laced 'Day Ones' propped up by the equally manic voices of Brooklyn masked emcee Leikeli47 and grime starlet Novelist. It also owes a debt to the overloaded hip-hop productions Adam F did during his Kaos phase - and that era pops up elsewhere much more pertinently.
Highlight 'Temple' is barely shy of a cover of Missy Elliot's 'Get Ur Freak On', M.I.A sounding just as vital as ever alongside Korean rapper G-Dragon. Pusha-T tag teams with Future on the very now hip-hop duet 'Kung Fu' but, like everything on the album, it's far too short and merely 160 seconds long.
That's the inherent issue with the album, which feels more like a deluxe beat tape than an actual LP. Shot with a flurry of great ideas, Baauer's talent seems sadly wasted over such a short burst.
Like this? Try Pusha T 'King Push – darkest before dawn: the prelude' review.