The Big Beat in 2011

The phat pricetags for Monster’s Dr. Dre line of studio phones have kept me from trying them (along with reports about structural troubles with the plastic frames); and the $400 pricetag for the Beatbox was no different.  I can buy a lot of great vintage gear and make some big big sound for $400!  But then I saw the Beatbox on sale for a tad more than $200, heard one playing in the store, and decided it was worth trying…

Kick it!Wow!  Easily the best piece of gear I’ve picked up in a year – and certainly the best portable sound I have ever heard!  I don’t know how they get such great sound from such a small package, but I’m down.  Truly a fine fine piece of gear and – now that I’ve played with it a couple of months – I’ll even venture that it’s worth the MSRP!  Anyone with an ipod or an iphone, and no good way to hear that content presented on a decent speaker system, is a fool not to own one of these!

The craftsmanship is outstanding.  The design is superb and well-engineered.  And the sound is, well, nothing short of gorgeous!  I am totally blown away!  In fact, I was so taken with the audio quality I went right back out and paid full price for a set of the new Dre studio phones.

The best new music finds of the year have been a scattering of electronica and dance.  It’s hard to name just three, since there’s so much excellent trance and deep house coming out of Spain right now; but Pablo Bolivar‘s Recall was a huge discovery for me.  What a beautiful, complicated, chill sound!  That record made me a diehard follower of the new spanish revolution in electronica!  Next would be the Divergent Spectrum record from Bassnectar.  Probably my favorite dance record discovery of the year; followed closely by Feed Me‘s Big Adventure.

Dubstep?  You bet.  Sucks that I missed the Bassnectar show in Austin but I didn’t have anyone to go with.  Maybe 2012 will be the year for me to finally take some dance lessons.  Not so hard to go to shows if I at least know how to dance well enough to not feel like an aging geek in the fray…