The minute I discovered `Badlands', I instantly had my perceptions warped. Rockabilly heard through the jaws of hell? A psychotic voice calling out amidst the clanging repetition, repetition, repetition? What kind of album is this?
The answer is less mysterious than you would believe. Dirty Beaches is the one-man project of Alex Zhang Hungtai, a Taiwanese-born Canadian musician, who like to use really old samples and distorted effects to achieve his distinctly retro-sounding music. In fact, his sound is so "retro", it seems to be coming from a really damaged tape from the 1950s. This adds to the chilling atmosphere of `Badlands'.
It's the sort of album James Dean would have loved. Enough said.