Exciting releases are coming in a much faster tempo than we can keep up with. That’s why you’ll find some older stuff in here too. We’ve got a diverse selection of styles again. With quite a lot of future bass this time, for Generation Bass standards, but also a couple of impressive classic-tropical releases. Add these treasures to your sets and playlists this summer and get a taste of the directions in which music is heading!
1. Shinji – Myst LP
Shinji from Paris is one of the most multi-faceted upcoming young producers today, whose deconstructionist style covers everything between kawaii vibes, classical music, witch house and breakcore. I interviewed him earlier this year and there he announced that his track Vers Les Etoiles was going to be part of a bigger release to be called Myst. This extensive 12-tracks long album is finally out now, released by our friends over at internet-underground label URL Future!
If you liked the emotional delicacy of Vers Les Etoiles, the album is a straight eye opener. Listening to it feels like accompanying the producer’s on an ayahuasca trip into the deepest crypts of his inner being. In an interview with Cvltstars blog Shinji explains: “Myst […] has to be read as a contraction of ‘My Mist’. […] The artwork is a modified picture of me holding a coral, surrounded by an opaque fog […] an insight into the tortured mind behind this…” Myst is the musical crystallisation of Shinji’s philosophy: representing the voice of what he calls the ‘singularities’ of this world. The growing number of rejected young people in our society who fail to find their identity in any existing group, wandering through life like a gasseous molecule in empty space.
Press play and be tossed around the entire emotional spectrum on the waves of ethereal ambient noise, retro-gothic synthpop, neo-classical harmonies, melancholic vaporwave and more.
2. F L ♥ R E S フラワ – ズ 3 EP
URL Future also released another marvelous EP I’ve been sleeping on last month, but which would have been one of my favourites if I had known about it. Flxres (‘flores’ or ‘flares’, not sure..) フラワーズ is a promising new-generation electropop project based in Menifee, USA. At the beginning of this year we announced a comeback of 80s electronica and it is very fascinating to see it happen in front of your eyes. The most exciting thing is that this exploration of 80s and early 90s sounds is led by a generation who hasn’t lived those days, being entirely free from the purist urge to preserve a genre’s ‘heyday sound’ behind sterilised glass walls.
In many ways, ズ 3 EP is in fact much more a fresh eruption out of the depths of the internet than it is a traditional retro-project. The bubbling, subterranean magma goo, gushing out microgenres like witch house, vaporwave and bubblegum bass now seems to bring out a sound that resembles the spirit of 80s, gothic flavoured cyberpunk, reinventing it as if it has never existed before. Long, black trenchcoats, cybernetic implants, rainy neon cityscapes and dim blue lit underground clubs where sweaty industrial bands perform for a small, drugged crowd swaying back and forth to the ethereal, dystopian grooves. Flxres shows a future which is still ahead of us.
3. Monotronique – Afrika EP
Stumbling across this pearl of a release, it’s almost unbelievable to find out how underrated this promising avant-garde grime producer from Ukraine is. His style brings in mind highly respected front-runners like Fatima Al Qadiri.
It may be bold to draw such comparison for a beginning producer but the similarities with Fatima Al Qadiri go even deeper. Afrika EP in essence does with Africa what Fatima’s ‘Asiatisch‘ did with the Far East: it takes you on a virtual trip into an imagined, rather than the actual Africa. By evoking a similarly hollow, plastified experience, it makes you wonder what is left if after all the layers of meaning Western society attaches to the most diverse continent on the planet, have evaporated into the air. What’s left is minimalistic, polyrhythmic percussion, accompanying distant fragmented snippets of imagery that isn’t there and gets destroyed in the experience. This makes Afrika EP therefore vastly different from traditional ‘tribal ambient music’ or artists like Clap Clap, who create a thick, prescribed ambiance that should contrast with our own, unable to free themselves from presenting Africa through ongoing Western cliches of primitive tribalism and savage beauty.
Brilliant avant-garde kuduro from a producer who is there to stay!
4. Mareaboba – Bioamorfo
The Mexican acid-cumbia experimentalist Maraboba is a producer whom we haven’t blogged as much in the past as I expected. Shame on us, because Mareaboba is one of the more interesting names from the still vibrant digital cumbia underground, which is temporarily off my radar but has an important place in my heart.
Bioamorfo is a unique release, coming from the direction of psychedelic cumbia experimentalism of artists like Tu Guaina or 420 Music Flavor, but at the same time becoming so dystopian that it can be seen as an example of the growing fusion of global, non-Western rhythms with the dark-hard side of electronic music.
Caballito is also an interesting label which, like us at Generation Bass, forms in many ways a bridge between and the global avant-garde and the now marginal turn-of-the-decade ‘tropical’ scene which have become completely different worlds.
5. Alfonso Luna – Alfonso Luna EP
If there is anyone who stays faithful to the original movement of tribal prehispanico and at the same time keeps innovating it, it is the Monterrey based techno-folklorist Alfonso Luna. He releases exciting new stuff on a monthly basis and, unique for most 3ball producers after the earliest oldskool perdiod, experiments with different rhythms and tempos that deviate from the standard 140 BPM syncopated-cumbia groove.
In Alfonso Luna EP, released by our friends from Kumbale in Germany, he shows the best of the entire spectrum of his diverse style. With tracks like ‘El Dios Luna’ and ‘Mexica’, he deviates even more from the conventional paths than usual, getting into experimental techno and deep-dub territory. 3ball prehispanico and techno go very well together and I hope this EP will inspire producers to release more of such experiments in the near future!
6. Sonido Berzerk – Unworthy EP
On the cover art I made some weeks back I forgot to put a reference to the London based label Etoro Records that released it, so here still a major shoutout. The bass alrounder from Veracruz, Mexico, must be a familiar name for dedicated readers. His eclectic style combines grime, juke, jungle, hiphop, dub and dembow blended together with a melodic chill flavour. This makes him fit seamlessly into the post-EDM global avant-garde, global bass fused with future beats and the internet-underground.
Unworthy EP is such an EP which is as much future beats as it is traditional global bass. Deep dub techno, afrohouse, baile funk, salsa, bachata, juke, kuduro, kizomba, merengue and deephouse.. everything is fused together organically into a thoughtful, slightly melancholic trip which is best listened to alone at a late summer night.
7. La Fama Blanca – Baile Tropicante
Baile tropicalte is a compilation and La Fama Blanca is not technically the author but he is the host of the recurring Baile Tropicante tropical club nights in Lisbon. Even though the tropical movement as we have known it in the past is no longer at the forefront of the global music avant-garde as it was back in 2010, it has retracted into a thriving and vibrant underground which keeps on generating treasures.
This grand compilation features many Generation Bass household names as well as some lesser known artists, all more than worth checking out: the Dutch organic tropical duo UMOJA, the Chilean digital cumbiambero Señor Chancho, the Peruvian rising tropical indie duo Animal Chuki, the Argentinian Latin-dub producer El Barba Dub, the Argentinian tropical bass duo FAAUNA, Caballito Netlabel nestor and tropical vanguardist BIGOTE, the French soulful tropicalist iZem, the Brazilian alternative tropical project Sistema Criolina, the Spanish cumbia fusionist DJ Caution, the Madrid based Colombian organic cumbia duo Guacamayo Tropical, the Mexican extraterrestrial cumbia futurist Asagi Saund, Caballito affiliated ‘graveton’ bangerista Grita, and Kzike Guacamayero Cumbiero who I believe is one half of Guacamayo Tropical.
Baile Tropicante are 15 tracks full of organic dub influenced Afro-Latin grooves. A warm-memory infused sound which, for our generation, can perhaps already be called ‘classic’.
8. Moniker – Thousand Bit
Bangeristas attention!! The American bass duo Moniker are an upcoming name in the future bass world and his style is absolutely RAD! This is forward-looking bass music at its full potential, involving complex rhythms, diverse percussion sounds and a storehouse of influences when it comes to synth sounds. Much future bass today seems to go down the same road towards destruction as EDM, falling in the pitfall of replicating the same formulas over and over, even before the genre has fully replaced EDM as the new commercial grab bag of everything electronic. But Moniker shows how it can be done and the result is brilliant, intense and uplifting!
Guest appearances are made by the Generation Bass affiliated crew BANGANAGANGBANGERS, the Dutch bass bangerista Subp Yao, the Utrecht based future beats alchemist Frenquency, the enigmatic prodigy Rustybird, and the psychedelic bass alchemist from Cincinnati, Spankalicious.
9. GROVESTREET – World Series Vol.7
Trax Couture is a London Based avant-garde label, club-night and clothing store created by the forward looking cultural alrounder Rushmore, one of the influential voices of the London club underground. Their monthly ‘World Series’ LP series has been running since about a year now, showcasing the promising underground artists, mainly in the vibrant area where flavours like ghetto-house, vogue grime and juke are constantly being blended into new exciting sounds.
This time (actually I realised the next edition is out already..) it is the internet-underground inspired futurist GROVESTREET, an absolute must-follow for Generation Bass readers, who delivers 5 magnificent tracks which combine the most unlikely genres such as industrial techno, experimental ambient, vaporwave and grime!
10. Lege 伝説 – The Colours EP
Lege Kale is a skilled producer whose style reminds in more than one aspect of Mr. Carmack’s uncategorisable eclecticism. It’s not future beats (in the narrow sense), not trap, not instrumental hiphop but truly something in between. “Who cares?” you may ask, but it does matter in a time where most new musicians copy fixed formats all the time and genres, even umbrella terms like EDM and future beats, lose creativity and diversity almost as soon as they become ‘a thing’.
In a sense, ‘The Colours EP’ is the chill answer to Moniker’s ‘Thousand Bit’, also combining catchy beats, delicious polyrhythmic percussion and subtle well-produced synth work in a brilliant way. I’d love to see him collab with Moniker in the future!
11. Lascivio Bohemia – Le Rumbé Saboralia
It’s been a while since I have had the time and opportunity to pay attention to one of the most promising newcoming labels of last year: Regional from Chile. They’ve released quite some great stuff in the meantime so I picked the release that I found most exciting of all: an experimental 11 track electro-folklore album from the Ecuadorian alrounder Lascivio Bohemia. Cumbia is blended with other prehispanic Andean and Afro-caribbean rthythms such as mambo, dembow and downtempo 3ball, accompanied by extensive sampling and dreamy as well as rough, experimentally flavoured synths.
Le Rumbé Saboralia connects the haydays of Sexxy Saturday Cumbia to the fast changing global music landscape of today!
12. SIMPIG – Strangers LP
SIMPIG, formerly known as the duo Shake it Maschine & Mr.Pigman, from Switzerland are probably a new name for many Generation Bass followers but not if you’re familiar with the vibrant underground of juke, footwork & alternative trap which is constantly feeding new sounds into the future-bass/futurebeats movement. A name to keep an eye on definitely!
Strangers LP is a breathtakingly perfect artwork of complex rhythm and melody. Traces of juke, footwork, jersey club, grime and trap can be recognised but the whole of every track transcends genres completely. The melodic work is a true composition that goes beyond club music, dragging you into an almost cinematic grippingly melancholic, future-noir scenery!