Beck


Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Beck's music is known for its pop-junk culture collage of musical styles, ironic lyrics, samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and heady sound effects. Beck was born in Los Angeles, California, to David Campbell (a musician and son of a Presbyterian minister) and Bibbe Hansen (a former dancer for The Velvet Underground, founding member of the satirical band Black Fag, and visual artist). When his parents separated, Beck stayed with his mother and brother in Los Angeles, where he was influenced by that city's diverse musical offerings—everything from hip-hop to latin music—and his mother's art scene – all of which would later reappear in his recorded and published work. Although Beck's work defies easy description, his eclecticism and genre experiments have sparked comparisons with Prince, though Beck was undoubtedly a less prolific artist, and drew on an absurdist, free-flowing lyrical style totally original when first exposed to mainstream audiences (indeed, some critics labeled him and his breakthrough single Loser as novelties - see below). Despite this individualism, Beck's music was very much a product of the 90s and the media age in general, with hip hop, indie/underground rock, electronic music and genre-benders like the Beastie Boys as notable touchstones; in addition, some critics could not resist likening his head-spinning lyrical aesthetic to a post-modern Bob Dylan sensibility. After dropping out of high school in the mid-1980s, Beck educated himself and traveled widely. In Germany, he spent time with his grandfather, fluxus artist Al Hansen. His artistic relationship with his grandfather may have influenced both his album art and sense of musical collage. He began the musical activity in 1988. The late-80's found him in New York City as part of the punk-influenced anti-folk music movement. Beck returned to Los Angeles at the turn of the decade, destitute but motivated. During this time, Beck sought out (or snuck onto) stages at venues all over Los Angeles, from punk clubs to coffee shops. Some of his earliest and most thought-provoking recordings were achieved by working with Tom Grimley at Poop Alley Studios, a part of WIN Records. In this atmosphere of heady creativity the founders of Bong Load Custom Records discovered Beck. Their 1993 12" vinyl Loser, from an initial run of 530 copies, created a sen...

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