If you have never skateboarded around your city with some local random beat tape pumping through weak 1980s headphones while batteries slowly drain then you haven’t listened to music in the way that Time Flying Beats by Matthewdavid is optimally enjoyed. It’s a beat tape for people who love beat tapes; it’s a beat scene record of warmed up leftovers that hits just the right spot.
On the cover of this new odds and ends collection, someone is holding a Boss Sp-303 Dr. Sample – a now classic out of production device used by J Dilla and Panda Bear. The character also appears to be wearing a helmet that is unable to contain a lovely mane. Time Flying Beats takes folders of unused beats and presents them in an atypical order, the more abrasive and simple at the top, and the more swirling, complex and excellent at the bottom. That makes for a record of ascending quality.
Quick tastes and movements make the album fly by. “Slippin'” both seems to sample Steve Miller Band and add to whatever narrative could be applied to the title. “Millenial Midnight” is another highlight with wonky vibrating synths and an overactive drum machine, plus a 10-second Thom Yorke inspired vocal echo which reveals itself to be a 1950s sounding vocal sample leading right into “Diamond Ring Lit”.
Elsewhere we get Flying Lotus inspired space funk jams (“Lines and Lattice”) which makes sense given his time on Brainfeeder. Other moments and tastes include tripped up, bending, wonky psych synths (“Into the Night Instrumental”); sketches that appear to be unfinished (“Time Flying”); full tracks with multiple movements (“Secret Rooms of Tokyo”). By the end of “Secret Rooms”, we are fluttering on some double-time Guitar Hero cloud in a lost Japanese 8 bit classic. When the beat stops and the digital rainstorm starts you want to count the ideas crammed into one song.
It’s in that tension that the magic exists here. David excels on the flip and flop between sketches and finished items. “Sailboat Voyage” finishes out the tracklist. It’s a massive pseudo ambient techno jam that worms its way into spacious grooves and builds patiently. It makes you want Matthewdavid’s hard drive to explore. If this hit the cutting room floor how many more solid jams does he have cooking in there for the next record?