Review: Beef Terminal – Humidex

Toronto’s MD Matheson has been honing his craft in “looping guitar sounds and galloping beats” since the mid 1990’s. Not having heard his previous releases, it’s tough to comment on them but from encountering the music of Beef Terminal for the first time, if Matheson hadn’t mastered the art of subtlety before, he certainly has now.

On first hearing, one could be forgiven for feeling a little non-plussed by ‘Humidex’. ‘September Trilogies’ could be classed as no more than pleasant, above average chill-out. In fact, it’s fair to say that not an awful lot happens to get anyone excited. ‘Different Time’ and the title track amble along nicely though, with rhythms tailor-made for long distance journeys.

Gradually, the organic feel becomes quietly seductive with rustic guitars dominant on ‘Common Seagull’. ‘Birthday’ slows the pace down and ends up sounding like a lovelorn hybrid of Durutti Column and Yellow6. ‘Energy Crisis’ – one of the few tracks which emphasises beats over plucked strings – is still moving whilst ‘Realistic Divides’ is intricate and really rather beautiful.

‘Humidex’ works pretty well as background music but deeper listening reveals that this is a triumph in melody, texture and melancholy. It’s probably a bit too late to change the name of the project though.

Web Sites:
Lefse/Waaga Records Label and Shop Site
Beef Terminal Bandcamp Site

Further Listening:
Yellow6, Durutti Column

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