The latest edition of LA Weekly profiles the up-and-coming Armenian-American DJ Bei Ru, who will be part of the newly enhanced lineup of Mosaic IV. Authored by LA Weekly staff writer, Liz Ohanesian, the article is titled, “Dj Bei Ru Mines the Neglected Grooves of his Heritage for Beats Gold.”
Here’s an excerpt from the story, which describes his album, “Little Armenia” [iTunes Link], as one that “plays like a love letter to his heritage.” The complete profile can be read here on the LA Weekly website.
Little Armenia (L.A.) is the sound of a diaspora that settled in Los Angeles, Armenian music filtered through the influence of albums like Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and the seminal underground hip-hop compilation Beneath the Surface. For his album, Bei Ru borrows from cultural staples — like “Der Voghormia” (“Lord Have Mercy”) from Komitas’ Divine Liturgy and Aram Khachaturian’s Gayane — as well as obscure funk, soul and jazz artists from the ’60s and ’70s, occasionally layering the samples with live bass, drums, guitars and even some horns. Linking together the tracks at times are snippets of dialogue from 1970s English-language movies about Armenians coming to America.
We profiled Bei Ru in December 2010 for a feature, titled “In Little Armenia, Vintage Folk Meets Funk and Soul,” where we described the artist’s new blend of funky music as an experiment never before attempted in the history of Armenian music. Here’s what we thought of the music:
A new blend of Armenian music has hit the scene in Little Armenia. A unique rendition of once forgotten melodies, this funky beat breathes new life into Armenian folk, fusing it with modern vibes and eclectic grooves in a way never before attempted.
The young artist was also recently featured on Horizon TV, where he spoke about his style and inspiration with Horizon 180 host, Manoug Seraydarian.
Bei Ru will be spinning tracks off “Little Armenia” this weekend during intermission at the Mosaic IV concert, hosted by Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association. The fourth in the successful series of Mosaic concerts will take place on February 5 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse (320 S. Mission Dr. San Gabriel CA, 91776) at 7 p.m.