Tuesday, 20 March 2012

All Bass Special

I have been on a big funk/ house kick lately, that is undeniable I know. However, there has been a pretty good influx of quality bass music as of late. Here is my selection of not-house for the week. Apologies to ETHC :S

Let's kick things off with one of the best, if not the best, in experimental bass music. Planet Mu as been not only relevant for almost a decade, but they have been at the forefront when it comes to great music. As a label, they absolutely epitomize everything that is Alternative Selections, which is they have made so many appearances already.

The Host, AKA Barry Lynna, is a brand new project that has just produced a debut album. The self titled offering will immediately remind you of Kuedo's wonderful retro-fitted, synth-bass odyssey from last year. Indeed, it would seem to be influenced by Severant, however, it is definitely it's own album with it's own ideas and motifs. For example, several of the tracks hit much harder and pack a definitive punch. While Kuedo used 80's, Bladerunner-esque soundscapes with injections of futuristic juke and footwork rhythms, The Host seems to draw on elements of prog-rock and vintage electro. There are certainly some moments that flat-out resemble Kuedo's sound, but for the most past, this is an extremely well conceived and original full length. Here is a link to Planet Mu's website where you can preview each track. It comes highly recommended.

The Host - The Host (Planet Mu)

Next up is another one of my favorite labels, that in many ways could be seen as Planet Mu Jr. That of course being FoF, which has seen the likes of cutting edge artists such as Salva, Tokimonsta, Machinedrum and of course Shlohmo. This is a wonderful remix Shlohmo did for veteran Tomas Barfod. The remix itself is a sweeping and changing epic that clocks in at 6:43, but it is worth every second of time that it gets. This is a truly wonderful piece of modern electronic music right here.

Tomas Barfod - Broken Glass (Shlohmo Remix) (FoF)

Next is a split EP from two sick-talented producers, Kingthing and Jamie Grind. Both of them should definitely be on your radar, no matter what scene you frequent. The first Kingthing track, "Waking Up" utilizes pitched down vocals coupled with frantic claps and 808 beats, while slowly building intensity with subdued synths. Once the breakdown hits, an undeniably awesome melody evolves, seemingly out of nowhere, before we are treated to a build which suggests that the subsequent drop will probably be nasty. And it indeed doesn't disappoint. It smacks you with a healthy dose of acid and 808s before letting up once again for the second breakdown.

The second Kingthing track, "Cold Diss", is pretty much west coast breaks, modernized with juke vocal stabs and more frantic drum-machine antics. The experience isn't quite as effective as "Waking Up", but it still offers a bit more of a heavy affair than the first track.

The two Jamie Grind tracks, are nothing short of remarkable. This guy is so good, I don't know why I didn't mention him on my "10 to watch" list for 2012. Unlike many of the producers on that list, he has actually delivered some pretty top shelf tracks this year. I am not going to try and explain why "For You" is so awesome. Maybe it's the master-worked vocals that he is so adept at using, perhaps it's the subtle progression that affords some serious re-listenability, or maybe it's just one of those examples where the sum is greater than the parts.

The second track, "We Still Play 140", is both a bitch slap to most of the so-called bass producers who have been jumping ship to house and techno lately, as well as a great little jam. It is pretty much a straight-up juke track, not overly innovative. But when a producer is so good at what he does, he doesn't always have to be innovative with it.

Kingthing/ Jamie Grind - Infra12005 (Infrasonic)

Now for another producer who should be on your radar: Krueger. This is a remix he did of the sometimes-awesome Kastle. The track uses a bit more of an in-your-face approach than some of the others from this post. There isn't anything retro or vintage about the production here. There are crunches, and squelches, but it is of course all tastefully done, which is something that Krueger is able to pull of on a consistent basis. This guy really should be one to watch in the future as well.

Kastle - I Know (Krueger Remix) (Seclusiasis)

Next is a track from a little-known label called Haunted Audio. The producer's name is is Simon/ Off, and he is certainly not knew to the bass scene. He was one of the many "dark-step" producers from 2009 and 2010. This track "Exit Space", is one of his best tracks. It has a nice synth melody with some tropical-inspired percussion.

Simon/ Off - Exit Space (Haunted Audio)

Martyn, who just did the newest installment on the Essential Mix, also released a brand new track for Brainfeeder this week. Included is a duo of remixes from Redshape, and Elvis 1990 with Bok Bok. Both remixes are from the Ghost People LP which came out last October, and both a pretty good, with the Night Slugs duo taking the edge. But it's the title track that you need to hear.

Martyn - Hello Darkness (Brainfeeder)

Next is another one of my favorite groups, LV, remixing Scrimshire, the jazz-trip-hop-fusion outfit. The remix itself isn't really bass, it is pretty much just UK Funky, but it is so good that I had to share it with you guys.

Scrimshire - Everything You Say (LV Remix) (Wah Wah 45s)

Untold, is always awesome. This new track for Roska's Brainmath label, is a serious banger. It takes it's time to develop and uses some tasty low end and rhythm to create an infectious groove. You will always be able to pick out an Untold track, and this is no exception, but it is so good, and he is so solid that I certainly can't fault him.

Untold - Flexible (Brainmath)

Next up is a track from a new-comer named Tessela. This track is actually a b-side, but I think it is the better track. It utilizes some main-room styled melodies with syncopated and frenetic percussion to create an interesting little gem. Here you go.

Tessela - Let Up (2nd Drop)

Last, but certainly not least is a compilation from Pinch's Tectonic label. Tectonic Plates vol. 3 sees Pinch curating a more traditional dubstep sampling than some of the other compilations of late. Featured on the release are tracks from Pinch, Kryptic Minds, Addison Groove, Goth Trad and others. The best track is probably the Kryptic Minds cut, "The Talisman". It should come as no surprise, as Kryptic Minds is always awesome. This is proper fucking dubstep.

Kryptic Minds - The Talisman (Tectonic)

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