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Group Members: David Satori
All Music Guide:
Beats Antique came together to make music for Miles Copeland's Bellydance Superstars extravaganzas. The trio is composed of David Satori (guitar, saz, viola, and percussion), Sidecar Tommy Cappel (keys, toy piano, drums, and percussion), and Zoë Jakes (belly dancer, composer, and arranger). Their music incorporates Middle Eastern grooves, Balkan wedding music, flamenco, French Gypsy jazz, hip-hop, dub reggae, and other Eastern tonalities, all pulled together with electronica that won't put off club kids, but will appeal to world music lovers as well. All of the bandmembers have a long history of innovative music-making behind them.
David Satori was born in Burlington, VT, on June 6, 1979. He started playing guitar at the age of 12 after hearing his brother Michael pick up the instrument. At 17 he was playing with an experimental high-school garage band called Bubble Tribe while attending Burlington High School. His brother Mike played bass, he took up drums, and the lead instrument was an electric banjo played by a neighborhood virtuoso who was interested in exploring the odder sounds the instrument could make. When he was older, he picked up his grandfather's violin to learn Gypsy fiddle music as well as Indian and Middle Eastern styles. He discovered a connection between the music of North Africa and Mali, which fed his curiosity for world music.
After high school, Satori attended the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles and earned a B.A. in music performance and composition. There he was exposed to more world music, and during his last years at CIA he founded an experimental instrumental quartet called the Funnies. They toured in an "eco-bus" that ran on recycled vegetable oil, and they put out two albums, The Funnies and Masters of the Universe. In 2003, Satori moved to San Francisco to joined the ten-piece Afro-beat ensemble Aphrodesia. He toured the U.S. with them and was part of their epic trip to Nigeria, traveling West Africa in another eco-bus. The trip culminated in a performance at the New Shrine in Lagos, built by Femi Kuti, son of legendary Afro-beat progenitor Fela Kuti. Kuti sat in with the band and inspired its 2007 album, Lagos by Bus, which Satori produced.
In 2007, Satori was in L.A. again dating belly dancer Zoë Jakes. She introduced him to Miles Copeland, her boss at the Bellydance Superstars show. Satori produced the music for an instructional belly dance DVD by Rachel Brice. Copeland was impressed and asked about an album of modern belly dance music. Satori suggested a fusion of electronic experimental music and traditional belly dance tunes. Copeland gave him the green light and Beats Antique decamped to a recording studio to produce their first album, Tribal Derivations. Jakes knew Sidecar Tommy from the Yard Dogs Road Show, a traveling hippie circus, and brought him into the band.
Tommy Cappel was born in Fairfax, VA, in 1973. Both his parents were music teachers, so he grew up surrounded by music. His brother played drums to heavy metal records. Cappel was driven by the beat and eventually took over his brother's drum kit. By age six he was playing in a rock band with his friends, and in high school he picked up piano, percussion, marimba, and timpani. He added his father's jazz records to the collection of prog rock LPs he borrowed from his brother to expand his musical vocabulary. When he discovered the funky New Orleans rhythms of the Meters, he knew he was going to be a musician for the rest of his life.
In the '90s, Cappel attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, aiming for a degree in studio drumming. He studied New Orleans jazz, bebop, modern jazz, and world music. One of his teachers was transcribing African and Arab drumming patterns to drum kit and Cappel lent a hand and learned much about non-jazz rhythm patterns. He started digging into hip-hop, Balkan music, Arab music, and Latin rhythms. After graduation he moved to New York and played in rock, jazz, reggae, and jam bands. He attended the free music jams at the Bell, a café in downtown Manhattan frequented by people like Karsh Kale and the members of Bill Laswell's gang. This led to experiments in combining live music with hip-hop and dub reggae effects. When a group of musicians he knew moved out to San Francisco, he joined them. In San Francisco he began producing hip-hop artists and electronic dance music. He joined the the Yard Dogs Road Show and hit it off with Jakes, who invited him to join Beats Antique.
Tribal Derivations was produced to complement Jakes' unique dance style, an innovative blend of traditional and tribal belly dance with tango, break dance, and Indian dance. On Collide, the trio stretched out in other directions. The San Francisco scene is a hotbed of cross-pollinating multicultural ensembles and the band ranged far and wide across North Africa and the Middle East for inspiration. Musicians from the Balkan punk band Brass Menazeri added delirious horn parts to complement a mélange of French Gypsy jazz violin, flamenco handclapping, Romanian wedding music, hip-hop, jazz, dub reggae, and more. They started laying down tracks for their next album in early 2009, and with a name like Beats Antique they're only limited by their imaginations. The band says that ragtime, Hawaiian, blues, and other archaic musics are all liable to find their way into future releases.
Beats Antique is an American experimental world fusion and electronic music group. Formed in 2007 in conjunction with producer Miles Copeland, the group has become noted for their mix of different genres as well as their live shows which mix samples and heavy percussives with Tribal Fusion dance and performance art.
David Satori, born in Burlington, Vermont in 1979, brings experience with many different styles of world music to the collaborative drawing board of Beats Antique. He began playing music in high school, and graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a degree in music performance and composition. While attending CIA, he formed an experimental instrumental group called The Funnies. The Funnies recorded two albums, and toured in an eco-bus that ran entirely on recycled vegetable oil. In 2003, Satori moved to San Francisco to join Aphrodesia, a ten-piece afro-beat group. Aphrodesia toured the U.S. and made a trip to Nigeria and traveled throughout West Africa playing music. The afro-beat group’s tour ended in a performance at the New Shrine in Lagos, a venue built by the son of afro-beat composer and player Fela Kuti. His son Femi Kuti also sat in with Aphrodesia, and inspired Satori to produce their 2007 album, Lagos by Bus. In 2004, back in San Francisco, Satori and Zoe Jakes met and began dating.
Zoe Jakes began belly dancing in 2000, but is a lifelong dancer, having 10 years of jazz and ballet dance experience under her belt. Her belly dancing is a blend of traditional belly dance with tango, popping, and Indian dance. She toured with the Yard Dogs Road Show for five years, performed with the Extra Action Marching Band, and has been touring with The Indigo Belly Dance Company for four years. She began touring with Bellydance Superstars in 2005, a dance company produced by Miles Copeland. Jakes and Satori began working with Ableton Live, a music program that the group does all of their producing in, and this is when she began to experiment with electronic music.
Tommy Cappel met Zoe Jakes when they were both members of Extra Action Marching Band. Satori and Cappel met years ago when Satori brought him in to play drums for a Burning Man decompression party. Cappel grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. The son of two music teachers and the brother of a drummer, Cappel was always surrounded by music. At a young age he took up his brother’s drum set, and was playing with a band of friends by the age of six. Influenced by his father’s jazz LP’s and his brothers prog rock and heavy metal music, Cappel became very interested in percussion. In the 1990s, Cappel attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston for a degree in studio drumming. At Berklee, Cappel studied New Orleans jazz, bebop, modern jazz, and world music. When one of his teachers needed help transcribing African and Arab drum patterns to a drum kit, Cappel helped and learned a lot of non-jazz rhythmic patterns. After graduating, he moved to New York City and began exploring many different types of genres. He would spend a lot of time at the Bell, a café in Manhattan that held free music jams. When a group of friends and musicians moved to San Francisco, Cappel joined them.
Beats Antique was formed in San Francisco, California in 2007 when Zoe Jakes approached her manager, Miles Copeland (brother of drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police) about creating an album. Copeland green lit the project, and their debut album Tribal Derivations was conceived on Copeland’s CIA record label. Tribal Derivations was a concept album, created to complement the dance styles of producer/arranger Zoe Jakes. The group’s second album, Collide, reached the top 10 of most downloaded artists under the Middle East and World Dance and the top 20 most downloaded electronic albums on Amazon. For their third album, Contraption Vol. 1, Beats Antique brought in collaborators such as hammered dulcimer player Jamie Janover, and beat boxer and hip hop vocalist LYNX. Their 2010 release Blind Threshold featured harmonica player John Popper of Blues Traveler. The 10-track Elektraphone was released October 4, 2011 supported by a 26-city tour running from October to December 2011.
Beats Antique released an 8-song EP follow up to Contraption Vol. 1 on August 18, 2012 entitled Contraption Vol. 2, which includes horns features from Balkan Brass Band, Brass Menazeri, vocals from hip hop vocalist LYNX & a remix of Colony Collapse’s "Filistine."
In October 2013, Beats Antique released A Thousand Faces: Act I, followed by A Thousand Faces: Act II in April of 2014. Featuring artists include Alam Khan, LYNX, SORNE, Micha & Leighton, and the Antibalas horns. Les Claypool was also featured on the A Thousand Faces: Act I single, “Beelzebub.”
In fall of 2014, Beats Antique toured with Shpongle (Simon Posford DJ Sets), Emancipator, and Lafa Taylor as part of their “Creature Carnival” tour. Featuring carnival-themed performers specific to each city, audience participation, and crafting events surrounding four “Creatures” (Light Saber the tiger, Al Eyes the owl, Jackie Lope the Antelope, and Squidzilla the squid), attendees of the shows were encouraged to dress wildly and come prepared with customized Creature masks.Smyers, Darryll (October 20, 2011). "Tommy Cappel of Beats Antique Talks Tribal Belly Dancing Music, Being Scared in Serbia.". Dallas Observer. Retrieved October 26, 2011. Horne, Jacklynne (October 24, 2011). "Beats Antique brings unusual show to TMT". The University Star. Retrieved October 26, 2011. http://www.allmusic.com/album/contraption-vol-2-mw0002529815 http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/a-thousand-faces-act-1-mr0004019423 https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-thousand-faces-act-ii/id850579827 http://www.choose.creaturecarnival.net/ http://allstonpudding.com/beats-antique-get-weird-creature-carnival-1021/
The styles combined to create Beats Antique’s unique sound are a union of old and new inspirations. There are infusions of Middle Eastern belly dance music, down tempo, hip-hop, old school jazz, clown, afro-beat, and many styles of electronic music. The musicians have been influenced by their diverse musical backgrounds. They incorporate many live instruments to produce their style of music.