Disregarding the advice of one R&B goddess, DJ Baglady doesn’t pack light — specifically, that is, concerning the weight of Beloved. In some measure, Baglady epitomizes the qualities of a particular realm of music industry in 2012, whereby the manufacture and trade of noise revolves largely around the entity of SoundCloud, to which juke, Jersey club, trap, and various other future-impelled bass and club musics form a main currency. Baglady’s mixes are demonstrative of such a situation, as microcosms of electronic music are explicitly traded off for one another.
Beloved is also a product of such a design, of the accumulative knowledge facilitated by the internet and, in particular, Web 2.0. According to Knowles (2007), such websites problematize the traditional notion of the expert, raising the wisdom of the crowd so that it becomes the major force. Indeed, tracing some kind of lineage of influence for Baglady is inconsequential to the networked mesh of followers and followees who more reasonably contributed toward affecting the sound and expertise of Beloved than anyone precedent.
That is also to say, Beloved is fixedly connected with the immediate future, a progression along the lines of 2011’s preoccupation with nostalgia and its inevitable drought. Closing track “Fire2Rain,” for example, takes Adele’s relatively current single “Set Fire to the Rain” as source material, which, as justification of an otherwise unjustifiable representation of capitalism, simultaneously aligns Beloved close to vaporwave artists such as INTERNET CLUB, Macintosh Plus, or Mediafired — at least, on a conceptual level.
Appropriately, then, Beloved is released through AMDISCS: Futures Reserve Label, which is also home to previous releases by Pictureplane, CVLTS, and Com Truise. On the other hand, Beloved isn’t devoid of references to the past. In “Bad Habit” and “Raveheart,” respectively, Baglady reworks already popularly worked vocal segments from Jenny Burton’s 1985 single “Bad Habits” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Silence.” Both instances have previous associations with dance and club scenes. The former, for example, was brought to subsequent dance-floor attention by way of ATFC Presents OnePhatDeeva, while the latter was immortalized in Delerium’s 1999 trance mix.
Despite sharing a certain visionary aesthetic, Beloved is sonically less screw and more club music than the aforementioned vaporwave practitioners, bearing closer similarity to Fatima Al Qadiri or Nguzunguzu — the latters’ inclination for cumbia-swayed rhythms, for example, registers throughout “Deeper.” In fact, the most important part of Beloved is beyond any conceptual substructure and in the beats themselves: the realization of a coming together of global electronic dance musics within the World Wide Web.
04. Bad Habit