Watching the stars align…
When Bekimachine first caught our attention, it was on the back of an engaging live performance as part of the New Cross Dark events earlier this year. Since then, she’s had an album launch event and the subsequent release of Another Atmosphere. TECs review of that album summed it up succinctly: “This is a collection of songs that catch the ear on a first playthrough, but that also reveals deeper appeal on subsequent spins.”
The appeal of her music lies in a combination of elements, notably her smart use of electronic rhythms, the weaving in of flute melodies and a mesmerising vocal style, giving the Bekimachine sound an otherworldly aspect. At the same time, there’s something engaging about a lyrical narrative that pulls from a science fiction/video game sensibility.
Bekimachine’s musical influences draw from a broad selection of acts, including the likes of Grimes, HANA, Purity Ring, Bjork and CHVRCHES. Songs such as ‘Ethereal’ and ‘Crescent’ offer a dreampop sensibility, there’s a softer aspect to the yearning ‘Afterglow’ while one of the album’s highlights is the perkier ‘Into The Dark’, another sci-fi tale dabbling in “cyber warfare” and musing about being “Lost inside simulations”.
TEC sat down with Beckie to explore a little more about her sci-fi world…
Can you talk a little about your early musical influences?
Yes! So when I was at school I used to love bands like VersaEmerge, Paramore & Marmozets. My initial musical influences came from there, as I ended up fronting a melodic rock band for a few years.
How did you start actually making music?
I studied Music Technology at school, which is where I learnt the foundations of music production using Logic Pro. I then went on to get a BSc in Music Technology at the University of Kent. But it wasn’t until a few years after graduating that I sat down and started my solo project.
Are there particular themes or ideas that dominate the tracks on Another Atmosphere?
Yes! Cyberpunk, space, moons, galaxies… maybe some magic too! The album is a conceptual album and follows a story that originated from my EP, Saga. Some of this story is shown through the single & album artworks which were made by Jake Romano.
Can you describe what kind of technical set-up you use for music?
In my studio I switch between producing with Logic Pro X and Ableton Live. I find I write differently between the two. I record into my Apollo Twin interface, and use a Shure SM7B microphone for vocal and flute recordings.
I also have a Korg Minilogue XD and Roland TB-3 which I used on the album. Some fav soft synths of mine are Sylenth1, Serum, Massive and FabFilter Twin 2, and my go to plugins are SoundToys Decapitator, Waves Vitamin & Output’s Portal!
You utilise Twitch quite a lot to get your music out there. What are the platform’s main benefits for you?
It’s been a great way to build a community and point people who find me on Twitch towards my music & discord server. It’s also a great way for people who like my music to come chat with me directly.
Another bonus has been learning how to DJ live on Twitch over lockdown – it’s really opened up a lot of doors for me this year, and an avenue I’m really excited to explore.
What are your thoughts on live venue performances?
I love gigs and have always enjoyed performing live. The energy and atmosphere of a live show, and the adrenaline from playing live is a feeling I’ll never get tired of!
You’re also an avid gamer. What were the titles that originally got you into gaming and what games do you frequently play today?
I grew up playing many different games with my cousins… but some of my favourites were Pokemon, Sonic Adventure and Soul Calibur! Nowadays I play a lot of Soulsborne (Bloodborne, Elden Ring), single player story games (like Cyberpunk 2077, Mass Effect etc.) and horror games (Resident Evil, The Dark Pictures Anthology etc.).
Another Atmosphere is out now: https://bekimachine.bandcamp.com/album/another-atmosphere
Photos: Gaston Ferrara Rinauto.