Essential EP’s #13

More than 2 full months into 2k17 now and there are still tons of essential releases that cannot be left unblogged on Generation Bass. The stuff that has come out in the last months of 2k16 belong to the year’s best releases and give most insight in where stuff will move towards from now. See this much belated post as a springboard into the music landscape that is taking shape right now.

1. Abyss X Nüshu (Infinite Machine)

Abyss X is my favourite artist at the moment and opening the Pantropical night in Rotterdam with her on the lineup has been the best experience of the year so far. Her intense, confrontational and consciously disorienting approach to music has resulted in two equally groundbreaking releases in 2016. The first, ‘Mouthed‘ was released by last year’s tone setter, Rabit‘s Halcyon Veil, followed about a month later by ‘Nüshu’, on the forward looking Mexican-Canadian label Infinite Machine. In a way only parallelled by Elysia Crampton and very few others, Abyss X evokes a very unique spectrum of emotions and experiences. By fusing elements from ambient, techno, traditional folk, industrial, noise, metal and opera as well as pop references and afro-Latin bass rhythms, she shows a peek into a future after the wave of cybernetic and deconstructed club music as we know it. In this respect, she is definitely one of the most important artists to watch this year.

>> BUY <<

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2. Rui Ho Ru Meng Ling (Genome 6.66 Mbp)

Involved in the Dutch vogue scene as well as in Shanghai’s budding club underground around pioneer tastemaker Tavi Lee (who also made the design) and Berlin Community Radio’s Incubator programme, the Berlin based Chinese producer RUI HO is a known name in many cornerst of the music world. Ru Meng Ling is their first release on the Shanghai based Genome 6.66 Mbp label. ‘Ru Meng Ling’, based on a poem by the influential female Chinese poet Li Qingzhao, articulates non-binary identity in the context of the internet, virtual identity building and Chinese cultural heritage with an energetic blend of distorted polyrhythmic beats, bell percussion and a cyberpunk flavoured high octane drive. Tho complete the EP, Why Be delivers an even rougher remix that zooms in on all the individual elements of the original like a magnifying glass and twists them into a psychedelic, intensified experience.

>> FREE DL <<

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3. TRENDY PACK 1 (TRENDY DECAY)

When this compilation first appeared on my Soundcloud feed, I’d never heard of TRENDY DECAY, a collective created by LUNARIOS, RULES & BOY. Unfortunately, because they’ve been active for a while now, bringing a unique blend of dark, emotional RnB melodies and vocals, deconstructed afro-Latin club rhythms and powerful black metal & gothic aesthetics. Closely involved with the Bala Club crew, where LUNARIOS released the mighty ‘ENTRA EP‘ (another essential release we slept on), this compilation brings together some of the most on point producers of this moment, including Merca Bae, Kamixlo, WWWINGS, Swan Meat, Coucou Chloe and Santa Muerte. Even though they are involved in the new wave club movement and are making deconstructed hybrids of some sort, the sound explored here 1 is notably distinct from the cybernetic club formula. TRENDY PACK 1 sounds like the first in a row of compilations, which I’m convinced will guide the way into the sound of 2k17.

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4. Eaves Verloren (PTP)

One of the most intriguing developments that have occurred in the avant-garde of the new wave club movement is that not just the boundaries between individual genres have become fluid, or the boundaries between umbrella categories such as ‘electronic’, ‘club’ or ‘experimental’ music, but even the boundaries between the ultimate decried conservatory binary of ‘light music’ and ‘modern classical music’. This scene has been bringing together sounds from worldwide local club undergrounds or from bedroom rappers and producers, to be experienced in clubs or via cellphone speakers, with conceptual, experimental audio art, suitable for classical concert halls. This materialisation of Adam Harper’s vision outlined in his fundamental work ‘Infinite Music: Imagining the Next Milennium of Human Music Making‘ has confronted us as a blog with a number of fundamental questions. What are the criteria we use to select music? What is the meaning of terms such as ‘club’, ‘bass’, ‘dance’, ‘global’ etc.? Isn’t finding our way through our existence in the context of accelerating technology and the corresponding social, political and cultural circumstances not what binds music together across all the different areas where music is being pushed forward?

Strikingly, Eaves’ background reflection to his album, or in fact, full blown classical concert piece –  “if reality mimics our ominous, fictional projections of the future, it’s clear that our current systems aren’t resisting as much as they should be” – comes strikingly close to the description of my own mixtape, published almost two years ago now. Apparently, the line from underground dance music expressions from different corners of the world, cybernetic club deconstruction and conceptual sound compositions destined to shake up the modern-classical world is a very obvious one. This is strikingly visible in Eaves’ own work. While conceptual and experimental from the start, it leaned towards clubbier vibes on the EP ‘HUE‘, moving a more into more abstract territory on ‘GORILLA‘ while reaching full abstract epiphany with ‘Verloren’. ‘Verloren’ (German/Dutch for ‘Lost’) is an overwhelming, emotionally exhausting journey that moves through desolate, ruined worlds, painted with layers of wide ambient scapes, fragile melodies, menacing bass sounds, explosive abstract beats, haunting vocal samples and transcendental choir chants. Together with the work of musicians like Chino Amobi or Elysia Crampton, I am convinced that ‘Verloren’ will be looked back at as the most essential music created in our times.

>> BUY HERE <<

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5. Swan Meat Bounty (PERMALINK)

Like Eaves, many more producers are on the same road of experimental club abstraction and cyber deconstruction towards conceptual sound art, each in their own way. Swan Meat is one of the most promising examples. It is remarkable how quickly, and seemingly out of the blue, new talents can appear into view. When I heard her set at c a r e #4 I was completely overwhelmed. Her relentless, complex blend of menacing atmospheres, warped pop references, poetic vocals straight out of the uncanny valley, abstract hardcore inspired beats, and the raging energy of metal, keeps intriguing, constantly switching between minimalism and maximalism, abstraction and rhythmical groove.

After a number of promising mixtapes and tracks on compilations for platforms including Classical Trax‘ side-label  JEROME, Shanghai’s Genome 6.66 Mbp and the activist initiative Co-Op, Bounty is her official debut, released via the Paris based avant-garde multimedia platform Permalink and premiered via Thump. She told Thump, about the background leading up to the EP. ‘Bounty’, which deals with issues of embodyment, is the condensation of the alternate forms of embodyment in poetry and sound that helped the producer climb out of her struggle with bulimia nervosa. Her characteristic sound, created with self-build plugins and game samples, is accompanied by a gripping design from the Hungarian forward looking art genius Gergö Kovacs.

>> BUY HERE <<

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6. Superfície Hélices (SALVIATEK)

The Uruguayan SALVIATEK label, started by Lechuga Zafiro & Pobvio, keeps occupying a peculiar space on the map of interconnected music scenes. They are operating mostly in the corner of the new wave club avant-garde, yet their sound is refreshingly different than most of what’s going around in that scene. The rhythmical structures are percussive, less abstract polyrhythms and seem much more focused on reinterpreting indigenous and Afro-Uruguayan heritage than on deconstruction and abstraction. Yet, where the South American part of the old global bass movement, think about labels as ZZK or Frente Bolivarista, is commonly characterised by a romantic representation of nature and ancestrality, reflected in organically flavoured (pseudo)acoustic sounds, SALVIATEK is the exact opposite. Somewhat resembling the philosophies of Eco Futurism Corp or Xenopunk, SALVIATEK’s vision is about breaking down the binary between nature and technology. In their own words:

“What happens when an AI learns from nature and decides to imitate it in order to survive? In a probable future, the limit between nature and technology is no longer definable. CPU’s control the jungle, birds are cameras and roots are circuits. The world has been taken by the technologic jungle and this system dominate all other species, including humans. By night, when the Salviatek flows in the techno-organisms and metallic chlorophyl does the audio-synthesis, the survivors dance to this biorhythms from their underground hiding.”

‘Hélices’ is the debut of SALVIATEK’s freshest addition, the Brazilian avant-garde producer Superfície, whose minimalistic, percussive ambient style is created from abstracted rhythmical structures of genres like baile funk, vogue and dembow. With these elements, ‘Hélices’ paints conceptual, sci-fi ambiances that bring to mind images of complex, artificial lifeforms, digitised indigenous knowledge and the diffusion of high-tech beyond the asphalted road network. The EP is completed by two more energetic, club-ready remixes by foozool and umurmurum.

>> BUY <<

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7. Bison & Squareffekt Distant Planets (Rimas e Batidas)

Last month, the ‘future tarraxo‘ microgenre tured 3 years of age. Evolving mainly out of Bison‘s mellow, melodic approach to the tarraxinha genre, it took off full force with ‘Odyssey of the Mind‘, in my view the best thing ever released on our own Generation Bass label, where Bison teamed up with Miguel Afonso a.k.a. Squareffekt. It would be the beginning of a successful formula, pushed by influential platforms like Enchufada, Thump and Boiler Room.

Coming out of a period of silence and reorientation, they are working on a substantial comeback this year, finding themselves in a thoroughly post-global bass world, where both sci-fi sounds and afrodiasporic rhythms reign supreme in both avant-garde and mainstream, but where most pre-2015-style microgenres have evaporated into the digital air. ‘Distant Planets’, casually referring to the frequent popular excitement about NASA’s discovery of new exoplanets, is their first release that is entirely uptempo. The 2-track mini-EP still carries the characteristic 80s space-age melancholy that made them unique, yet with a more energetic, even heavy undertone. ‘Cosmic Fellings’ is a destructive afrohouse track, keeping ambiguous whether ‘fellings’ refers to natural processes or to the ruination by humans or other intelligent civilisations. ‘Distant Planets’ is a Mexican-style 3ball tune that brings out the desolate dramatism and gripping coldness of outer space worlds. With astroid mining and a new space era gradually unfolding in the course of this century, I view the EP as a commentary on the issues of exploration and colonial destruction translated to the context of space travel. Political space music for the 21st century.

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8. Club Chai Vol. 1 (CLUB CHAI)

Club Chai is an Oakland based initiative by foozool and 8ULENTINA, with a recurring party and a show on London’s influential Radar Radio, focused on diasporic narratives, women and trans artists, DJs and producers. Their blend of mainly RnB, dancehall, club sounds in the broadest sense and non-Western pop and traditional music, pushed on the club nights and in the shows has now resulted into the first, exciting compilation that brings together artists from many different corners of the music scene, including Generation Bass’ cumbia favourite Turbo Sonidero, SALVIATEK’s Lechuga Zafiro, Manchester’s DJ Florentino and Bala Club affiliate Organ Tapes, alongside many other artists worth checking out, never before blogged on Generation Bass such as The Creatrix. Musically too, the spectrum covered on this compilation goes way beyond what’s usually seen in the club avant-garde, extending into salsa, techno and acoustic guitar songs. This refreshing diversity combined with cultural and political substance makes Club Chai a very important frontrunner for 2017.

>> FREE DL <<

9. GIL Orchids & Wasps (Danse Noire)

I’ve been a fan of both GIL’s energetic dancehall, kizomba & dembow inflused club tracks and Aisha Devi‘s Danse Noire label, where I heard eye-opening dark flavoured experimental blends of abstract industrial, hardcore, grime & ambient for the first time. Coming from a sound that could come surprisingly close to global bass, GIL has notably moved towards darker experimental sound in his more recent productions. This exploration is now crowned with a release on Danse Noire. ‘Orchids and Wasps’ combines relentless distorted drums, noisy dystopian soundscapes and haunting vocal samples, with GIL’s passion for afro-latin club flavours and polyrhythms.

>> BUY HERE <<

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10. ZRD XX (Bio Future Laboratory)

I’ve been following Eco Futurism Corp for quite a while already, and even thoughI never came so far to blog any of it here on Generation Bass, I’m really stoked about ever more artists emerging from this movement such as Tropical Interface, SHYQA, HERBARIUM and now ZRDZM (ZRD) who debuted via Eco Futurism Corp subsidiary Bio Future Laboratory. Especially with the rise of cosmic horror aesthetics, this EP is fundamental. ‘XX’ touches upon many crucial aspects of today’s exponential age, from immortality and artificial life to high-energy experimental physics as well as the Lovecraftian horroresque awe that surround these matters. ZRDZM’s style is best placed in the conceptual sci-fi ambient corner, with long stretched soundscapes, thoroughly abstracted, suggestive rhythmical elements and lots of cinematic samples that construct a lively, almost interactive videogame-like experience. And the worlds painted are as dark, alienating and overwhelming as the future we may have ahead.

>> FREE DL <<

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11. OO-B ÁFRICA, ENCANTADA

Together with Abyss X, the Montpellier based producer OO-B is one of the most unique artists I’ve got to know lately. A producer and rapper with a background in grime, he stands out, both sound-wise and aesthetically, from most of what’s going on in the scenes working with forward-looking club and bass music. Where most of his older work is clearly grime, with ‘África, encantada’ (Spanish for: “Africa, nice to meet you” as well as “enchanted Africa”), he moves into experimental club & music, which seems to draw from genres including grime, vogue, afrohouse, kizomba, deep ambient, new wave club and hiphop, yet it doesn’t sound at all like the sounds going around in either the new wave club or the global bass related scenes. The sound is melodic, melancholic, percussive and somewhat mysterious, yet fascinatingly uncategorisable on any possible level. With this self-released EP, OO-B shows that it is still possible to make music independently of dominant movements, approaches and formulas.

>> FREE DL VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

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12. Katasonix (0)

From the depths of the internet, where meme charming chaos magicians and occult cyber clairvoyants are initiated in the secret principles behind the forces that govern our information based reality, hails the enigmatic soundcloud channel Katasonix, named after Kode9‘s first label name. The Kode9 reference goes further, especially his involvement with the with Nick Land’s mysterious Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, as the title names are all drawn from ccru’s Pandemonium.

The tracks themselves are complex patterns, constructed from analog synth recordings, that sound like a language. They leave the gut feeling that they carry a hidden message to decipher. I leave the interpretation to the listener. Yet I am convinced that this whole new way of treating patterns in sound, free from intuitively human ways of processing music, while intriguing enough to listen and enjoy, will open many new oportunities for music making in the near future.

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Kicking Off 2017 With The New Dark Generation

2017 will see a rise of Lovecraftian, cosmic horroresque aesthetics

2016 slipped away without a spotlight for a development in music that has come into full force over the course of this year, completely out of view of most blogs and music magazines, even independently of the internet avant-garde’s metal fetish. It is one of the most successful stories of how a music movement can be assembled from different genres and musical backgrounds. Meet the new dark generation.

I’m calling it a generation rather than a movement or a scene because not all of the artists are necessarily connected or would recognise each other as part of the same thing. Rather there are smaller groups and scenes, probably more than there are on my radar right now, that are making forward looking, multi-genre music with a dark twist. With the facebook group Dark Electronic Music, I’ve tried to tie all of these small movements together and to some extent this was successful, but still far from where I’d hope it will move. But all of these movements and scenes have grown and diversified this year and that is something which can never deserve enough support.

Some household names and some new names to support. Also I lost a bit sight on the techno, hardcore and industrial side of things, so that’ll be saved for next time.

1. Hexx 9 records (label)

Of all the labels and collectives out there, few embody what I call the ‘new dark generation’ as on point as the New York based trailblazers of Hexx 9. Born out of the post-witchouse movement, they have released next generation gothic music on the interface of witch house, industrial, ritual ambient, drone, noise rave, dub, trap and more. Even Abu Ama‘s Arabic ambient dub tarraxo has found a warm home at the label.

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2. 209 SINS

With separate projects known under different pseudonyms, 209 SINS is one of the most consistently active Soundclouders, combining repost selections with own productions and mixtapes: れモモ刀下∨ㄥ 匕卄丹れム乙 for vocal hiphop, ᴆ ᴀ ᵛ ᴵ ᴆ † ᴌᴬ ᴮ 0 ᵙ ℜ for hard-hitting industrial DnB rave crossovers, Philip K. Decker for cinematic ambient influenced instrumental tracks and yunΠg≠wellbutriΠ for mixtapes.

209 SINS recent selector’s choice of industrial bass rave mixtapes

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3. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş

We’ve supported the Paris based prodigy ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş and his alter-project Shinji (now [lyn]) several times before on the blog, but 2016 was the year where he put himself on the map, both with his two artistic projects and with his avant-witchhouse Facebook channel U+06e9. An autodidact classical singer, electronic producer and improvisationalist, bedtime stories’ has developed an impressively unique style, individually, without following any trend. Although he calls it ‘classical witch’, the sound transcends the witch house genre in every possible aspect, while its relation to classical music is even more intriguing. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is a neoromantic, early-classical punk, reclaiming the sound and aesthetics of thoroughly elite, institutionalised entities as a tool for improvisational self-expression.

I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Yet for now, ‘Gaia’ (Hexx 9, September 2016) is ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş’ defining release.

>> BUY IT HERE <<

Ģăīă was a project created by an unknown entity, a creature able to bend the nature of things and able to change reality by interacting with dreaming people. Ģăīă was able to save lives, but playing with human psyche is not without consequences, and most of the dreamers died. Only a few stayed alive, connecting with nature to transfer the energy of the entity into the lands. Now, Ģăīă is all around us and influence our reality, but maybe this reality is just a lng dream orchestrated by Ģăīă itself.

One of the exiting aspects of ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is that he knows how to deconstruct his own sound, combining elements of it such as the gothic opera singing, with vastly different vibes such as this industrial, rhythmic ambient track collab with Achromatic Residue.

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4. Volkanos

Another very active producer and scene pusher involved in blending witch house elements with industrial ritual ambient music is Volkanos from Denver, U.S. Involved with the Hexx 9 label as well as the dark experimental techno label Tenebrous Music. Grown up in a family involved with Wicca and Shamanism, Volkanos always had a vision of fusing music with symbolism, mythology and ritual choreography. Expect a more in-depth interview soon on the blog!

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/dethrite-valley-of-misery-volkanos-x-andrvj

Volkanos’ style: suggestive horroresque soundscapes, blended with organic percussion and witch house flavoured rave synths

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/all-souls-mixtape

The All Souls mixtape which came out around halloween is one of my favourite mixes of 2k16, particularly because Volkanos, next to myself, is one of the only artists in the world fusing witch house, dark techno and 209 sins style industrial bass music with the dark flavoured side of ‘avant garde club’

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5. Young Yogi

Supported several times before, Young Yogi, alter-project of GAMEFACE, is paving the way ahead of the dark trap microgenre which GAMEFACE has been building for about two years now, steering away from sounds of EDM trap as well as from post-internet cloud trap into a more unique and conceptual direction. Young Yogi’s sound combines the explosive tension and monstruous 808 bass of the new dark wave of cloud trap and with psychedelic uplifting melodies and cyber-utopian mystical thematics.

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7. SADWRIST

Mad genius of the witch house scene, playing with thematics and imagery sometimes too gruesome for even me to share. When he disappeared from all his social media platforms at some point last year I, and probably more with me, was honestly worried he’d put an end to his life. But he came back and has been uploading so much fire lately, venturing from his already rough and eclectic twist on witch house further  into noise, breakcore, hardcore, dark trap and black metal.

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8. RARE AKUMA

Especially Sadwrist’s more trap leaning work would probably fit the new #RAGECORE genre, created by the Antwerp based beatmaker Rare Akuma. Pushing a blend that is sitting somewhere in between drill, deathstep and metal, Rare Akuma bridges the worlds of hiphop, loud bass music and the rise of metal in the electronic avant-garde.

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9. ATILLA THE HVN & NOIRE ANTIDOTE †

The witch house scene in the Netherlands is small and fragmented. The people that make it are not really connected into one scene. In fact, there isn’t really a scene at all. The genre is just getting a bit more known over here only recently (then I’m not talking about Crystal Castles) among the new generation of dark-alternative leaning fans who can nowadays listen to anything from vaporwave or sad rap to anime music or whatever edgy genre the internet has spit out over the last years. Producers are a different story. With Atilla The Hvn and Noire Antidote there are two great forward looking examples, one coming (as far as I can tell) from industrial techno, the other (alter-project of Benjamin’s Plague) coming from the cybergoth-industrial scene.

From Tilburg, home base of Generation Bass, Atilla the Hvn seemed to come out of the blue when I first discovered him last year, but apparently he has not only been experimenting with witch house for more than two years, has a solid following and is well connected in different forward looking corners of music. If I may bet on any producer from the Netherlands to rise to greater heights in 2017, Atilla The Hvn is the one.

Dark melancholic trance & hardcore beautifully blended and distorted into a powerful emotional rave flavoured soundscape.

I’ve known the guy behind Noire Antidote for a while (never met him in person tho) because of my occasional adventures in the industrial scene and how much I like dark electro, I was even happier to find out that within the remnants of the gothic scene at large, there is interest in witch house as a direction to go into. Not that I have anything particular against industrial hardcore or psytrance, but with self-proclaimed scene destroyer DJ Krat (industrial hardcore/rhythmic noise), the psy/goa scene or wallowing in German festival nostalgia as the only three options, witch house was never embraced by the gothic scene in the Netherlands so far. In 2017, things have changed. Whether it makes sense or not to still talk about a gothic scene is irrelevant. Noire Antidote is making great music and actively reaches out to crowds with livesets on industrial minded festivals, without the need for a witch house scene.

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10. The Enigma TNG

Back in the days I’ve suppored The Enigma TNG, still one of my all-time favourite producers, as an example of what an eclectic, multi-genre cyberpunk flavoured dark music future could look like. Almost two years later, he is still going strong, consistent pushing and developing his unique style. And where back then, he was a solitary pioneer with a solid following mainly in the world of cybergoth-electro and alternative electrostep, today his sound, involving elements of metal and cinematic epic orchestral music, is being mentioned as an inspiration for the direction in which the club avant-garde will be moving in 2017.

His newest album, ‘Midnight’, came out in October last year.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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11. Toxic Embryo

Upcoming live electronic formation and enfant terrible of the dark-alternative scene in the Netherlands. Drawing inspiration from sources like Babymetal, BOTDF, anime music and nightcore, Toxic Embryo’s twist on dark electropop possesses the same post-ironic DIY edge as PC Music’s bubblegum rave or Elysia Crampton’s conscious use of cartoonish horror elements and recontextualised pop sentimentality. The nostalgic, trancy neo-rave melodies and anime-esque adventure lyrics combined with campy cyberpunk aesthetics will leave the traditional electropop fan in utter confusion whether this is a joke or truly garbage. Yet at the same time, this androgynous blend of hyperpop and angelwave, fused with metal, hardcore, trance, rap and live performance is exactly where the avant-garde of internet culture will be moving in 2017.

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“The only thing I need is HUGS” – 2016 with Dead Stare

forestmetal

Little more than a year ago, I wrote what is possibly my most personal and emotional piece ever written on Generation Bass: the in depth interview with Dead Stare’s Gergö (Hungary) and Edgar (Mexico/US) about health, injustice, passion and music. The post struck a chord with many people and was shared widely, reaching for example boombahchero pioneer DJ Orion, who invited them to revive the Subguey series in September this year.

Dead Stare continues to occupy a remarkably unique position, outsiders in both the Hungarian and the North American ‘global bass’ scene, where the sounds of the BABYLON label and La Clinica on the one hand and NAAFI on the other, are setting the tone. Dead Stare’s blend of sounds is squeezed in between the EDM branch of global bass and the darker experimental club sounds that don’t really fit in ‘avant-garde club’, dark trap or witch house either. And now their enthusiasm for the boombahchero genre has given a whole new spin to their direction.

I recapped with Gergö for a look back at the turbulent 2016 and the future of boombahchero.

GB: Have there been any hopeful developments in the treatment of the brain tumor?

G: Unfortunately, absolutely nothing. Only for the worse. If its getting bigger, it can fuck up my eyesight. In the last few days a lot of things were too obscure, way too obscure, so we need another tumor test ASAP.

On a side note, I love how you guys wants to send me money like you, Orion and First Gift and Edgar, but I hate money. And as I said, we can’t buy an operation. In this situation Money can’t help. I could buy some clothes and food which would be really cool, but today I realized I don’t need money. The only thing I need is HUGS!

GB: But at some point you will need an operation I suppose, right?

G: I don’t know, but pretty sure yeah. I need to do another test. Probably in January.

Also, doctors announced now rhat , in this situation, the epilepsy is more dangerous than the tumor. It would be better without the Tumor, but still dangerous. They can’t operate epilepsy. I have medication, but I don’t really know what to say. I need to take it for a lifetime, but I’m always positive you know.

GB: Is the epilepsy a reason not to operate on your brain?

G: Nope… Luckily they can still operate me, but then I’ll still have the epilepsy which is more intense.

GB: But that’s no reason for the doctors to say, lets keep a tumor in your head that threatens your eyesight, that’d be bizarre…

G: I know man.. I’m just saying. I always went with high hopes to all of the appointments. I want to get rid of it ASAP. But I had enough time to learn to live with it.

Dead Stare x Wost – Brinquen

GB: You were supposed to fly to the US for the promotion of the Subguey release, but that didn’t hapen in the end right? How do you feel about being so far separated from Edgar, especially now Dead Stare is growing?

G: The US trip is still possible, I just need a bit more time, hopefully I can tell more news about it. Edgar understands that I can’t travel to the US yet. He always encourages me to do gigs alone in Europe. Hopefully it will change soon. We really get along.We can always fix all of the “problems”, this hasn’t a big one to be honest.

Even by playing separate gigs on two sides of the ocean we influences each other. The video from my gig at Cross Club inspired Edgar to play boombahchero at a popular deephouse night, and people told him it was the craziest set ever.

GB: Cross Club?

G: Cross Club is a club in Prague. Chong-X booked me because he liked our Subguey mix. It was literally unreal. It was supposed to be a boombahchero set but for some reasons I played 30-40 mins of Moombahton… then Chong came to me and said “WE WANT BOOMBAHCHERO!!!” I switched to it immediately, and like woah. Man, it was clearly one of the best moments of my life.

I mean, for me personally boombahchero is very special, a magic experience that takes me to a perfect world without pain, and where everybody just smiling and dancing with crazy moves. But that night this actually came true.

GB: Can you tell more about your experiences with boombahchero?

G: It’s the most underrated microgenre now. I always knew the potential, but when I saw people’s reaction in Prague, I realised its even stronger than I expected. I’m just obsessed. I never thought people can feel boombahchero this way.

Another time is when I sent this Miami bass demo to Astronomar’s label Main Course. He said the track is really cool, but… SEND ME SOME BOOMBAHCHERO PLEASE. Like, I can’t believe this. A month ago I told Edgar “Everybody wants Boombahchero” but I was just joking. It seems it’s not a joke anymore..

I want to inspire people to create more edits as well as originals. I started a new project, organising a boombahchero compilation with all original tracks. First Gift from Sweden, who already made a lot of sick boombah tracks, is helping me, along with Orion. Maybe its a bit too early to announce it since we don’t really have anything so far yet, but I’m excited so I wanted to talk about it.

Dead Stare’s ‘slow boombahchero’ remix of Gingee‘s track Escape

GB: Coming back to the Main Course label, do you have mainstream ambitions?

G: I want to grow, and want to spread our message all around the world. I want shows and meet new people. I want to talk to all of my followers and help out others with food, clothes and inspiration. Big labels are the key. If I can take over some big labels that means more shows and more attention. It would be our biggest goal to have a release on a label where a global bass artist never really released anything.

Its hard because I want to keep the Dead Stare sounds but sometimes the success requests things like that. I think an oldschool miami bass track with some acid vibes would be enough deadstare. I’ll try to make a very unique track with rare sounds and of course acid vibes. Maybe its still EDM, but Im pretty sure we can make a good EDM track with a pure oldschool vibe and a unique beat.

Dead Stare’s intense, dark-epic boombahchero remix of Monsters On The Horizon

GB: What’s up with the baby sounds that come back in several of your tracks?

G: We never talked about this so far, but nothing can make me more angry when I see somebody hurting a baby. I seen a fucking intense video of a mom kicking, hitting, hurting her daughter with things and I was literally in tears. Maybe that’s the deepest reason why I want to grow. I want to show people that kids deserve way more attention and love. Some parents prefer to give them easy distraction instead of talking to them. These things make me angry. We are using baby sounds to give a voice to them in this way.

Maybe some of our fans still think we are just a random project, making stupid ironic shit, but we have some serious messages. I’m not saying I can change the world but maybe I can inspire a few people that understand what we’re about.

GB: Any last thing you want to say to Generation Bass readers for 2017?

G: If you got an unreleased boombahchero track, we would like to hear: [email protected]

Dead Stare – Másnapos (“hangover”), Original Mix

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Generation Bass Presents: GBMIX#11! Wu

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At the end of a musically confused 2016, which saw the evaporation of online aesthetic and sound hypes, our attention is shifting from avant-garde pioneers, to people who are experimenting with new ways to build more solid, multi-genre scenes and concepts IRL, independently from the accelerating pressure of net-trends. Wu, from Rotterdam, is of that category. He pushes his eclectic blend of club and bass genres as a formula for darker dancefloors. In this sense, he fits the broader movement of developing multi-genre club scenes that has been a continuous engine for innovation for about a decade, from GHE20G0T1K to Swing Ting to Endless. The exciting thing is that the final outcome of such initiatives, can be quite different in each individual case, and the central starting points to build on can vary from genres as diverse as techno, grime, hiphop, dancehall or even experimental stuff like noise or algorave.

In this energetic mix, Wu shows the potential of the growing interest in grime, UK club and vogue/balroom sounds as a starting point for a vivid, multi-genre club underground.

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Renick Bell and the Promising Future of Algorave

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One of the tragic side effects of always being tuned onto the most innovative and culturally challenging music is that you’ll get bored ever more easily. Nights revolving around one specific genre, like techno or DnB, can annoy me to death. But also in the worlds that I’m active in, like global bass or ‘avant-garde club’, there isn’t much that can amaze me with the same power any more as when I was still new to all these things. Between my early Soundcloud days and now, the “‘this BLOWS my mind” feeling has gradually faded from multiple times a day to often months without. Simply because I’ve heard so much of the most fantastic stuff already. But last month I had a life transforming experience in a way I haven’t had since my early days of music digging, not while surfing Soundcloud in solitude for a change, but on the middle the dancefloor, walking into a liveset from Renick Bell.

Immediately when I heard the robotic abstract beats and alien ambient scapes while seeing the hypnotising coding lines glide and morph over the big screen, I knew that I would write a Generation Bass post as soon as I had the occasion. And doing a quick search I also realised that this is the first-ever Generation Bass post about algorave. Developed in the underground of tech enthusiasts, the technique of using software code commands to generate live music has been around for more well over a decade, yet hasn’t crossed paths too much, not with the ‘post-internet undergroud’ and let alone with global bass. It’s logical why.

What has fuelled the internet hypes over the last decade has mostly been driven by the products of the democratised accessibility of simple production and sharing techniques, which has enabled teenagers from around the world to develop new styles and subcultures that are often quite simple in the production process but creative in the way they bring together cultural elements available via the internet. The development of a whole new kind of instrument, especially one that requires very specialised knowledge only shared by minor section of the population, is a diffent world. In 2013, when the algorave first caught attention as an upcoming scene, Vice notoriously called it the “future of music, for nerds”. This esotheric character is one that algorave hasn’t managed to shed so far, at least in my perception, interesting mainly as a mere nice idea for people passionate about exploring the possibilities of coding as a human craft with vast latent cultural potential. All of this might well change soon, both because the coming generation will hopefully have much widespread knowledge of programming, but also because, as the craft matures, its fruits will improve and diversify. The previous generation has witnessed the shift of electronic music in general from an experimental niche genre pioneered by a small bunch of wire enthusiasts to the most widespread, popular way of making music. And with the potential of open-source software, in principle accessible to anyone anywhere with an internet connection, coding as a new form of musical expression may well be on its way to be embraced by marginalised people to articulate political realities that go beyond the privileged bubble of nerd culture. After all, the ongoing historical development of music is essentially cultural heritage x socio-political context x technology. And that is why, on the brink of 2k17 it is more urgent than ever to start talking about algorave on Generation Bass.

Enter Renick Bell, a Texas born, Tokyo based programmer, musician and teacher. His abstract, visceral sound, shared by artists like Partisan, Morten HD or Sentinel, has attracted the attention of avant-garde platforms such as J.G.Biberkopf’s Unthinkable series on NTS, Quantum Natives and Infinite Machine and has doubtlessly also been shaped back by these movements. More importantly, the amalgam of sounds combined in these music scenes has brought algorave in direct contact with the musical heritage from marginalised global club & bass undegrounds as well as with the socio-political contexts of the struggles of oppressed people for alternative futurisms. This happed very literally on Native Self, where Renick’s set was immediately followed by Terribilis playing baile funk and Lisbon batida.

During Native Self there were, as is common in the Algorave scene, no additional visuals apart from the real-time projection of the live coding process: a form of opennes to visitors with knowledge of the technology and an invitation to contribute.

His most recent official release Empty Lake EP, which came out in October this year, on the London based experimental label UIQ.

His most defining works: a series of tracks called “fractal beats”, drawing from genres like footwork, gabber, psytrance, techno and noise, but with the improvisational chaos of experimental jazz.

Moving into melodic territory, with poppy vocal samples, his sound becomes essentially identical to the sonic palette that I typically categorise as ‘avant-garde club’

Renick’s collab from half a year ago with the Japanese experimental club producer KΣITO

“Beats for traditional dancing”, a composition where live coding and otherworldly electronic sounds become antirely one with the spirit of Jazz

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Liquorish Records – V.A. Riddim All Stars (Compilation)

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Liquorish Records is a forward looking label, curated by DJ and scene builder Oomboi Lauw, who is always a step ahead in signalling what is missing in the music scene, globally but especially in the home city of Amsterdam. Initially this started with creating an outlet for the unique, grime inspired twist on footwork by the Surinamese producer J(ay).A.D. This love for uniqueness and boundary pushing club and bass has grown into an impressive series of EPs and compilations where Amsterdam based talents like J(ay).A.D and Noam Kamal appear alongside international artists from a broad spectrum of scenes and genres.

Usually focused on the higher BPM range, Riddim All Stars dives into the dancehall roots of contemporary club music, with half-time downtempo and mid-tempo riddims that freely blend tresillo patterns with double-time percussive filling and a wide variety of synths and atmospheric effects. Also exciting about this compilation, on the brink of 2017, are the different music scenes and genres from which it brings contributors together. There is ‘avant-garde club’ producer Zgjim from the Angry Youth collective, as well as barefoot pioneer and global bass OG Stereotyp (vienna), Generation Bass afiliated footwork producer Sarantis, dancehall minded UK club innovator Cardinal Sound and dub junglist SeekersInternational and more, all on the same compilation.

I had the honour to spin some tunes together with Zgjim, Zoltan J(ay).A.D and C_DR_C on the release party in Amsterdam last week and especially the brooding, budding scene energy made me realise that if there is any release that gives me a positive insight in the new directions music can take in 2017, it is definitely this one!

>> BUY HERE <<

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Tracklist:

  1. ZgjimRiddim
  2. StereotypWoi Riddim
  3. ZoltanDhl Riddim
  4. SarantisBash Version
  5. TS Repman$$$ Printer Riddim
  6. SeekersInternationalCausation Version
  7. C_DR_CU Don’t Know My Whereabouts
  8. J(ay).A.DNyan Riddim
  9. Cardinal SoundMarch Riddim

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Once you see this, cumbia will never be the same any more (100% real no fake)

marcianito

100% real, above top secret footage of a martian who happens to dance exactly like me in the club (I can’t get over this!).

The original joke, putting a gif of a dancing alien to Antonio Ríos’ song Nunca Me Faltes, which went viral this summer… and evolved into this…

So much for the c l i c k b a i t part. Everybody is done with hypes and I don’t care if it is relevant or not to still talk about old memes on the brink of 2017. Cumbia will always be relevant so shut up. Same goes for vaporwave.

Usually, blends between genres occur when specific, different genres come to occupy an important role in the the cultural sources consumed by an individual, either by growing up with it, being part of a specific cultural environment, or by having any other kind of connection with it that sticks for some reason. At some point, somebody realises that a combination between the two genres is possible and starts experimenting, either as a joke or as a sincere expression of their reality. Usually somewhere in the middle. Like with any cultural translation, something is first imitated and then translated into the new context, developing a ‘homegrown version’ of something that may or may not start living a life of its own.

Vaporwave is of course no exception. I have pointed out before how vaporwave caters to a collective memory of long days of luxurious mall shopping with your parents, television commercials, videogaming and the first aquaintances with the life-changing influence of computers. This shared experience of growing up with these things is mostly specific to affluent, white, suburban Americans and don’t necessarily have the same subconscious connotations in other parts of the world.

CYBEREALITYライフ is one of the earliest ones introducing the genre to Mexico, fully integrated in the entirely internet-based, largely anonymous vaporwave scene. An old track from 2013, with all the tokens: slowed-down, chopped and looped soulful mall music, presented with mystifying Japanese script: nothing that gives away that this was made in Mexico. Nowadays he largely left vaporwave for a broad variety of other styles.

マクロスMACROSS 82-99, also doesn’t make any notable use of Mexican cultural elements and is even heavier on the pseudo-Japanese kawaii-disco flavour.

Munchi recently showed this video, dating from back in 2010, produced by video artist Rollz Royce for the T Tauri Trap House collective (which included artists like Zakmatic and Chippy Nonstop) who experimented with tumblresque aesthetic net-trends, fused with sounds, predating ‘avant-garde club’, which leaned more towards global bass than towards the post-internet lineage of seapunk, vaporwave, meme-rap & cybernetic club. Even though I would now automatically connect these aesthetics to future funk vaporwave, the connection makes total sense, since these sounds in fact draw from the collective memory of growing up in the 90s but in the Latinx community.

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One of the most obvious ways to give a Latin twist to vaporwave is to vaporise the homegrown versions of the kinds of music vaporwave is usually based on, like this edit of a 90s hit from the Mexican singer Luis Miguel.

And from there it is only a short step to vaporising cumbia. Mexican vaporwave producer A. Rivers recently released a mini album with 3 ‘made in Mexico’ vaporwave tracks, two of which are based on cumbia.

https://soundcloud.com/arivers-radionstalgik/sets/beta-release-2-5-mini-album

Mexico is not the only country where somebody got this idea, Falsorwave そして、通過 Chile is a Chilean channel with vaporwave edits of Chilean pop, some of which cumbia.

And a Reddit search of the terms vaporwave and cumbia led to this whole new attempt by a producer called Wiracocha, after the precolumbian Andean deity, to create a new microgenre ‘Incawave’, a blend of post-vaporwave ambient and Andes music. Personally I like post-vaporwave experimental stuff better than pure vaporwave so, clickbait or not, I really dig this!

A long while ago, I made a remark somewhere that bubbling could be seen as a kindof nightcore version of early dancehall and then Mexican cumbia rebajada would be a vaporwave version of cumbia. This was also realised by Redditor Newtype420, who posted Vice’s cumbia rebajada documentary in /r/Vaporwave last year, which has lead some vaporwave-aware Latinx Youtubers to comment in fullwidth to old uploads of cumbia rebajada channels.

Strikingly, pre-vaporwave cumbia rebajada has always had the strongest in Monterrey as well as in Mexican communities in Texas’ metropoles, where it has crossed paths before with Texas’ hiphop culture in general, and the chopped & screwed hiphop movement in particular, which has created an aesthetic that shares a lot of cultural DNA with the different elements that inspired vaporwave and sad-rap.

The question then becomes what is the difference between the cumbia rebajada that’s been around for so long and slowed-down cumbia edits presented as vaporwave? As WosX has pointed out, the way in which it is presented as an added, mystifying and recontextualising layer on top of the sound itself, is an essential element of what makes something vaporwave.

WosX’ recent educative short doc goes in depth into the defining elements that give the vaporwave family of related genres their disctinctive character **I personally do not agree with his assertion of inconsiderate, ‘google-translate’-style cultural approptiation (the way it is usually practiced in VAPOUR) as a positive way of cultural exchange**

This would imply that it is the representation of cumbia, as could be done with every genre, that ‘vapourises’ it, rather than simply applying ‘classic vaporwave’ techniques to cumbia. In that sense, ‘vapour cumbia’ is still in its infancy, but it has clearly entered its journey through the grinding mill.

Essentially the classic sound of cumbia rebajada, wrapped in vaporwave aesthetics, from Vaporguey

Also from Mexico, by an obscure humor channel, slowed down ‘vaporwave’ edit of Los Mirlos chicha hit Cumbia de los Pajaritos, presented in an eclectic aesthetic package that can refer at the same time to cumbia rebajada, sad trap and nightcore

Even though it is not consciously part of the ‘vapour’ umbrella, when it comes to slowing down cumbia with the purpose to create a displacing experience that is both nostalgic and unreal, this already classic cumbia dub edit by El Búho comes close to how a more refined cumbia vapour could be imagined.

On the visual side of things, the crew from Caballito Netlabel, where the designers have been conscious of vaporwave from the start, have experimented with more ambiguous, vaporwave-inspired yet uniquely different Latinx aethetics to accompany their digital cumbia sound.

The official video for Bigote‘s ‘Juanita‘, already 5 years old

And for his more recent track ‘Sonido Trópico‘ (2015), with an avant-le-hype very early reference to Marcianito!

Of course Marcianito couldn’t do without its own official vaporwave version, also by Vaporguey

And when a meme is so big that there is a vaporwave edit, there must almost certainly be a nightcore edit as well

Like vapour, nightcore is a universe on its own, that can in turn blended together, not just with cumbia buth with any kind of ‘global bass’ genre, but that’s for another time…

Essential EP’s #12 [DOUBLE EDITION] – Side B

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Part 2 of Essential EP’s #12

SIDE B

12. Vol.1 (Onda Trax)

The Onda Group is a New York based collective which includes Track Meet’s Ynfynyt Scroll and Escape From Nature’s Orlando Volcano focused on embracing the holocene. Onda Trax Vol. 1 is the first mini-compilation, which might mark the beginning of Onda Trax as an album, containing tracks by Ynfynyt Scroll, Orlando Volcano and nar that all take a melancholic, melodic approach to dominican dembow, dancehall, baile funk and 3ball. Looking forward to more releases from them in the future.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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13. Gan Gah Chaâbitronics EP (Lowup Records)

I saw the Moroccan born, Brussels based producer Gan Gah recently in Rotterdam, at Pantropical’s event organised together with the Arabic film festival in Rotterdam, playing next to Rocky B the Tropikal Camel, Deena Abdelwahed and Rebel Up!‘s Dutch member Duckfood. Amidst the current wave of Middle Eastern & North African club music with semi-mainstream acts like Acid Arab on the one side, avant-garde political acts like 8ULENTINA and Dj Haram on the other side of the spectrum and the Arabic side of ‘global bass’ in the middle, Gan Gah is the perfect bridge. Following last year’s Souktronics EP, which had a lot of club, kuduro and trap influences, Chaâbitronics stays even closer to the characteristic chaâbi sound and bouncy triplet rhythm found in traditional and pop music all over North Africa and the Middle East.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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14. Jason Hou原 (Origin) (dohits)

Jason Hou is a Bejing based producer and member of the dohits label & collective which has been on our radar since last year summer. Their output is impressive and it’s hard to select which releases to include as essential. I chose for Jason Hou’s more experimental and dark-percussive EP, which connects in many ways to the recently introduced gorge genre.

Like gorge, 原 (Origin) is a return to nature and the most elemental aspects of existence – in this case, human existence. Homo sapiens’ propensity for ritual, creation, community, narrative, violence and reproduction is expressed with a blend of relentless club & techno drums, bright polyrhythmic percussion, traditional chants and deep subs.

>> BUY HERE <<

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15. Ziúr Taiga EP (Infinite Machine)

The Berlin based producer Ziúr is one of my personal favourites this year. Both her ideas about the politics of citizenship and her intense, industrial club sound resonate intensely with how I’ve been reflecting on existence since a long time now. Developing her  personal style since a while now, connecting to, yet subtly distinctive from the Berlin avant-garde sound represented by players such as JANUS or _WDIS, ‘Taiga EP’ is the first crystallisation of it in the form of an EP released on the Canadian-Mexican Infinite Machine label. The EP contains 4 original productions, one featuring RIN, and two remixes provided by the posthuman futurist Born in Flamez and the Australian visceral club deconstructionist Air Max ’97.

>> BUY HERE <<

Also check out and >> BUY << Ziúr’s newest release, only accessible via Bandcamp >>

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16. wave 002 (wavemob)

If you want to know about the wave genre, which we didn’t introduce on the blog I halfheartedly gladly forward you to this pretty insightful High Snobiety article. Needless to say, if something is on High Snobiety before it is on generation bass, it is either not interesting enough, or we haven’t done our job right. Or both. In this case it’s somewhat in the middle. But in short, wave is an intense, melancholic blend of trap, sadboy rap, witch house, cybernetic grime and vaporwave, which has been around in online undergrounds since as far back as 2013 but was lifted into the spotlights last year by futurebeats heavyweight Plastician and his terrorythm label. In retrospect I think we slept on it mainly because of my own tunnel-obsession with avant-garde club and because of its quick affiliation with the futurebeats-scene, which we also skipped almost altogether. But despite all this, I’m really feeling the heavy, emotionally touching vibe of wave and am fascinated also by the strong IRL-URL community vibe going around in the scene.

wavemob is one of the central, if not the single most defining label & collective of the movement, that released their first official compilation. wave 002 is the follow up, with 13 new, original productions from the wavemob members.

>> BUY <<

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17. Keiska Powerpoint EP (CREAMCAKE)

Internet culture has always had its obsessions with bygone sounds and subcultures. This year it’s trance, gabber and metal which are being devoured by the grinding mill. CREAMCAKE is a Berlin based avant-garde label, specialised in precisely capturing these shifts and trends in digital culture through music. ‘Powerpoint EP’ is the debut of the Finnish post-internet producer Keiska, who tunes into the melancholic echoes of 90s and 00s rave culture, bending the escapist angelicism of trance and eurodance into eerily alienating melancholic ambient music, contrasted with intense, deconstructed beats and dystopian samples.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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18. DRIFT KINGS [GT Edition] (DRIFT KINGS 漂流 公達)

Next to the grinding mill spit-outs of trance, metal and hardcore, there is also an obsession with racing cars and motorbikes in the aesthetic underground of tumblr, in the wake of health goth fashion and broader cyber tech aesthetics. The new producer collective Drift Kings takes this aesthetic trend to a more serious level. Like their first kickoff compilation, this follow-up release is again entirely dedicated to the conceptual vibe of car racing and its videogame simulation, with tracks, named after cars, filled with racing samples and immersive trance synths.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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19. crapface :):):) (Palettes)

We’ve also entirely slept on the wave of hyperpop/bubblegum-bass that gathered the attention of the music magazines for a couple of years now, especially the stuff from the PC Music label. The hype has almost entirely faded out now, but an underground scene of producers that are fabricating a distinct, cotton-candy-like sound from sources like contemporary pop, nightcore, rave, k pop, RnB and bass music, is continuing and evolving further. The Canadian producer crapface is one of the defining names from this movement and his most recent album ‘:) 🙂 :)’ is at the same time an insightful display of where the post-PCmusic underground is moving as well as lots of fun to listen to.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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20. Cepillo Cuevas Que se Sienta EP (Handiclap Records)

The Mexico City based producer Cepillo Cuevas has always been an eccentric frontrunner in the world of moombahton and global bass, not following popular templates but developing his own ever evolving and diversifying, yet consistent style. Now global bass as a movement of mutually supporting producers, DJs and bloggers, has largely diffused into different directions, Cepillo Cuevas is more relevant than ever now. ‘Que Se Sienta’ is the kind of moombahton EP I have always dreamt of, staying true to the tresillo groove, while drawing in sounds from new-age ambient, cinematic-epic music and dark rave-techno, giving a whole new twist to the entire genre with each track.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/cepillo-cuevas/sets/cepillo-cuevas-que-se-sienta

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Monsters on the Horizon

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Halloween will kick off this year with an unlikely forward looking blend of electrifying EDM and deconstructed dancehall and club vibes, all with a dark twist rooting in the full spectrum of the rock genre.

Monsters On The Horizon, a NYC Collective of Musicians, Artists, and Producers, bringing back the dark vibes. Like reading an H.P. Lovecraft story while UNKLE’s Psyence Fiction plays in the background. These are Remixes of the songs from the FIRST COMING ALBUM by none less than Chooky (Australia), Hataah (Hungary), Ackeejuice Rockers (Italy) and Aluphobia (Hungary). The remixes will drop during the following days.

The monsters are coming…

For who can’t wait, grab The Haunting 95 BPM dembow VIP >> HERE << already !

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Generation Bass Introduces: GORGE

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Imagine a genre supposedly born in in the mountains on the Indo-Nepal border, communicating the aesthetic and spiritual sublimeness of rock climbing, becoming the soundtrack to an international rock climber-clubber subculture in Canada and Argentina and eventually morphing into a passionate avant-garde movement in Japan: it exists and is called gorge.

Exactly a year since we officially introduced our last genre, Shamstep, it is high time to return to doing what Generation Bass was originally created for: introducing cutting edge dance flavours from around the world to URL music enthusiasts. But at the same time, 2015 was the year in going into the music history chronicles as the year in which genres as a whole were officially dead. Most probably killed by cyber-deconstructionism. What could have been bandwagons just some years before were now all destined to prematurely popping out of existence, like soap bubbles. That makes it extra shameful that we totally slept on gorge when it was hot, back in 2012, when we were too busy pushing moombahton and 3ball. But now the genre, once a completely separate, ungoogleable bastion of secrecy is now slowly creeping into wider attention with artists such as Kazuki Koga (Canada), whose Salathé Wall EP for the Apothecary compositions label, introduced the mysterious percussive sound into the avant-garde club movement. So if there is any right moment to introduce a genre so long after it’s beginnings, it is now.

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Gorge, best described as an experimental electronic interpretation of Nepalese folk percussion, is vaguely defined by its own inside conventions and legends. The sound can range from very distorted and noisy, to organic and minimalistic, from straightforward rhythms to complex experimental patterns and from downtempo to uptempo. Still gorge has, if such thing exist at all, a strong signature that makes the genre recognisable. According to gorge originator Himalayan Giant DJ Nanga in an interview from 2013, if you make gorge, apply the Gorge Public Licence:

  • Use Toms
  • Whenever you feel that a track that you make might me gorge, it is already gorge
  • Never ever call it ‘art’

I’m fascinated by why ‘never calling it art’ is such an important part of gorge. I suppose it’s because ‘art’ implicates human mastery and control, whereas the whole idea of gorge is precisely to embody ‘the sublime’ which escapes and resists human control. Not culture but nature, the impersonal, relentless magnificence embodied by the rocks, refusing to be conquered and tamed by humans trying to climb them.

In the words of DJ Nanga, gorge is ‘rock music’ in the most litteral sense. It is the “sound of a rock, sound of water that beats the rock, sound of a mountain held by the rock.” And according to DJ Fhuck TheChipping, gorge “is not a human expression, Gorge only has the hardness of the rocks. Can you survive?” Accordingly, producers making gorge aren’t called ‘artists’ but ‘bootists’: they don’t craft their own sound, but climb them. And perhaps that is – in the wake of aesthetic trends like xenopunk that are reflecting on non-human sublimeness against an increasingly artificial world tailored for human comfort – why gorge is more relevant than ever in 2016!

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The newest EP of Hanali (Tokio), one of the leading figures in the Japanese gorge movement

And the promotion video for Hanali‘s 『ROCK MUSIC』 EP from 2013

Hanali is not a DJ but a live electronic musician who performs gorge by on-the-spot improvisation

A gorge tune from the very early days (2008) from the further unknown DJ Kinabalu

Industrial space-synth gorge by Drastic Adhesive Force (Japan) from the 2012 ‘Gorge Out Tokio‘ compilation

And another selection of Japanese gorge from 2014, by the Kyoto based label Terminal Explosion

Gorge from US based bootists, ‘the United GORGE Bootists of America’, released in april this year, featuring less industrial noise and much more crossovers with electronic genres like techno, avant-garde club, ambient, kuduro and more

Kazuki Koga‘s grand EP for Apothecary Compositions, which we supported before, blending gorge with juke & footwork

Kazuki Koga performing his EP alleingehen live

In the Japanese electronic underground, juke & gorge appears to be a powerful combination to blend together on club nights.

The most important artist who brought gorge into the internet-underground last year is seapunk OG Ultrademon who was inspired by Kazuki Koga and announced to make a gorge EP last year as a tribute to his cousin who died ice climbing. This EP was materialised via a his side project Thiefist, released via the gorge.in label & platform.

Gorge & post-internet aesthetics influenced rap by rapper MC松島, produced by bootist Franz Snake

According to Japanese gorge specialists HiBiKi MaMeShiBa and Mr. Ishii these are two tracks, one from the British industrial band SLAB! (1987), the other (1969) from the German experimental krautrock band Organisation (Kraftwerk before they started Kraftwerk)

And here a fresh EP from this year’s most active and passionate gorge bootist, Indus Bonze, who asks the question whether gorge is dead or alive…

…but, to speak in the spirit of DJ Nanga: gorge is never dead nor alive. Gorge is the water crashing down from the rocks, with with no beginning and no end. Gorge is the rumble of the elements when the rocks were formed. Gorge was there long before us and will be there long after we are gone. Gorge is eternal.

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