Following the relaunch last month, we continue full force with a highly energetic mix from Generation Bass crew member Neutrom X, based in the western region of Spain. When he joined the team a year ago, he already built a massive following base with his tastemaking Soundcloud repost channel. Neutrom X is involved in the Spanish juke & footwork scene, hosts radio shows on the independent underground broadcasters LIE RADIO and BELOW and is also a member of the Classical Trax community. His signature style is contagious: raw, uptempo beats drawn from different undergrounds like club, global bass, future bass, post-internet and vogue, blended effortlessly with the more breakbeat and techno vibes.
After a period of silence, GBMIX is full up and running again! Approaching the end of the first half of 2016, we’re back with a fresh mix by the Mexico City based futurist César Ch. A DJ and a reviewer for the Classical Trax platform, he embodies the ultimate fusion of the global bass scene and the avant-garde club movement, constantly seeking to weave together the original genres from all over the world such as batida, tarraxo, baile funk and Mexico’s own tribal prehispánico, with the glacial, mechanical & sounds of ambient grime, ballroom and mutant club music.
I am a slow blogger. I usually rake in as much as possible of everything that pops up in my soundcloud feed or on Facebook and if I dig it, repost, comment, or thumb it up.
But as usual, I´m behind with important posts so that all the important new stuff disappears to the end of the queue of everything I still need to (or sometimes even promised to) post. In the end, it always ends up in big roundups with deep background reflections – because novelty isn’t really the point any more when a track came out a month ago – which is what I am focusing on and nicely sets apart the value of blogs compared to faceboom groups. But inevitably, there are always too many things that escape the radar, some of which I keep being reminded about as they release new stuff or if I notice that other platforms do give them the recognition that I would like them to give as well.
Therefore, here a selection of stuff, mostly artists, who always sticked around in the back of my head and should have had a shoutout long ago. Some of them may be familiar to you, others less so, dependent on the kind of music you’re into, but all have something unique that makes it something Generation Bass should have blogged. We didn’t, but it’s never too late for a second chance.
If there is one producer who should have been a Generation Bass household name since the very beginning, it is the enigmatic producer Abu AMA. His unique style is possibly the most Generation Bass thing ever: a fusion of Middle Eastern music, portuguese tarraxo and an experimental electronic twist, coined #ArabXo. More than simply experimenting with sound, his music carries a powerful message against todays rampant plague of islamophobia and Western belligerence the Middle East!
A warm shoutout from the blog that so closely matches every aspect of your passion and style. From now on you WILL be our household name!
Stomping uptempo portuguese batida with Middle Eastern samples and industrial ambient noise!
Downtempo organic tarraxo with a some baile funk/rasteirinha flavour
In the club underground, KABLAM, from Berlin’s JANUS collective, is one of the most essential artists as well as a main favourite of tastemaking music platforms like THE FADER and FACT. And rightly so, because her abstract flavoured productions are among the most unique even in the scene of which she is part. What strikes me most about her style is the skillful minimalism, carefully cutting out the ‘soft middle filling’ of music, retaining only the skeletal essence of rhythm and the aerial cloud of melody. I know that, with these wordings, I am kind of parroting much better reviews of her music on other sites but I simply can’t but entirely confirm these analyses. Next to her home base at JANUS, she is also closely connected to the Staycore117 family.
Comforting devotional string loops interrupted by unpredictible echoeing claps create an incredibly powerful state of mind, best comparable to a moment of slowly calming breath and heartbeat after an intense experience of agony
Another unique, ostensible juxtaposition, as contrasting as could ever be possible: late medieval choir chants, created to reflect the rational perfection of the heavens against the oceanic, apettitive ID-unleashing baile funk sound ofMc Marcelly‘s ‘Vem Sarrando‘ (“come lick”) – yet it makes perfect sense, creating a powerful spiritual reunitement through female sexual energy, utterly destroying the fascistoid, patriarchical Platonic-Freudian tripartite hierarchy of the Western world-picture
Another important member from the Staycore 117 family, also living in Berlin, mentioned a couple of times in earlier posts already but so far never got a specific shoutout. Her combination of dembow beats, RnB and conceptual club music is the ideal balance between accessibility and cutting edge, forward looking attitude.
Dembow-club bootleg of Jennifer Lopez’ hit ‘Play’!
Her oldest track on Soundcloud which I somehow never noticed at all before writing this post: an incredibly beautiful crystalline melodic track with an unmistakable moombahdeep/luv vibe, yet with incomparably many times the creativity of most generic stuff that passes as moombahton
A third important Staycore 117 family member, based in Croatia who should have received our support since a long time ago. Mapalma also uses mid-tempo BPM range dembow as a backbone but has a much more energetic, even subtly dark melodic sound. One of the questions still puzzling me is why it could be that a sound so close to moombahton, or global bass in general, is kept so separate from that. There must be a reason. While she must certainly be aware of the global bass sound and movement, not even eshewing the term subtropical, she and the wider Staycore scene are clearly and probably consciously not associating themselves with it. I talked about this with Munchi and he was of the opinion that it is a very good thing, arguing that heading it under anything ‘global bass’ or moombahton would charge it with so much ballast expectations and not do justice to its uniqueness. Good point, ‘club music’ is a much better umbrella in so many ways, but it’s still fascinating me.
One of her newer tracks: dembow, baile funk and melodic synths
Amazing collab with mobilegirl, going for a much heavier, futuristic club sound
Impressive to realise that this is really two years old and still sounding so fresh, even among all the conceptual ambient trap/trillwave tunes I hear every day
I discovered this producer about half a year ago when I tried to find out whether there were any serious blends of kuduro, afrobeats or with psytrance/goa or any kind of underground trance music. As expected, I found loads of ‘pseudo-African’ 4/4 trance with some djembe added to make it sound “tribal”/”exotic” (LOL!!). Also was there an occasional poppy, EDM flavoured afrohouse mixtape tagged as ‘trance’, without having much of an actual trance sound at all, until I noticed the Principe Discos logo on one of the tracks in the list, uniquely tagged as afro-trance and even psytrance!
Mystereously, the producer, who used to have an active soundcloud account and only one release with Principe, removed all of his online presence apart from his YouTube account. Even the Principe account removed the track and I have really no idea why. Let’s hope he’ll come back this year, continuing this exciting style. If not, I hope the YouTube will remain online at least.
His release with Principe: a magnificent banger blending Portuguese batida with oldschool psychedelic acid-trance
An even harder scorcher of kuduro with hardtrance!
One of the things with vaporwave and trillwave producers is that usually they keep their information very enigmatic and delocalised, usually not disclosing where they are located. In such way I’d been knowing CYBEREALITYライフ for a while already when exploring vaporwave, trillwave and the wider post-internet scene. Until I came across him on Facebook and realised that he is from Mexico and right at that moment, really into experimenting with as many different genres and sounds as possible such as jersey club, juke and synthwave. I was stoked to hear that he was now drafting a 3ball tune, even allowed to check out the preliminary version. I promised and truly wanted to give this a major shoutout on the blog, which I eventually never managed to do and I still feel bad about that. It’s even one of the most lit 3ball tune that have come out in 2015 and I hope more of this will follow this year!
Closer to his core-style: his amazing fresh album ofSESH-flavoured suicidal shoegaze-hiphop beats (>> BUY <<)
Talking about the post-internet music scene (which we never covered extensively enough on Generation Bass in the first place), I entirely overlooked the unique Dutch exponent of this movement, based in The Hague; torus! While his visual style is very similar to the broader trends in the post-internet/net-art community, moving from marble renaissance architecture and art to office plants and surreal virtual objects and now, in the wake of health goth and the club movement, sports clothing & gear aesthetics, his music is extraordinarily personal and unique, holding the middle between vaporesque, ethereal melodic soundscapes, recontextualised abstract influences from 00s RnB or eurodance and even some ambient trap and future beats. I met him at Progress Bar a couple of weeks ago and found that he is also a great enthusiast and endorser of the new club movement, which means that he may well turn into one of the most essential musicians in the Netherlands this year. Don’t sleep on this!
His most recent EP, ‘temples’, from a year ago, combining all the different colours of the spectrum of his style (>> GET IT NOW <<)
And a short 2 track bundle focusing more on one specific sound of aquatic ethereal ambient with crystal clear, crispy percussion
When I stumbled upon PIVOTAL while making my wanderings through the Soundcloud networks of the new club scene, my mind was blown immediately. Here is somebody who, as it seems, combines the abstract rhythmic backbone and cybernetic grime synths of the new club formula with harder, more explosive drums than I ever heard before in that scene, as well as unscrupulous scorching distortion and noise, creating a unique sound that approaches the brutality of crossbreed or industrial hardcore. On the artist’s soundcloud page there are tracks in many different styles, few of them coming even close to this. This unique fusion seems to come out of the blue. I definitely hope to see more of this stuff this year!
Siete Catorce is one of our all time favourite artists since the beginning of the blog. Been there since the early days, before the rise and fall of global bass, lived through the budding and now bloom of Mexico as a hotbed for innovation in music and youth culture. And he’s still there, pushing his uncompromisable hypnotising style of experimental polyrhytmic beats with sparkly melodic synths and deep ambient soundscapes.
It’s just that my own personal sour-hipster mood sometimes witholds me from posting and promoting stuff released by big labels that are surrounded by an air of commercial success and mainstream vibes. Jealousy…? Maybe. Childishness…? Certainly. Because Paisajes EP should have been a unquestionable #ESSENTIAL right when it came out. I hope it isn’t too late yet to make that sure!
I really do like techno but barely blog it on Generation Bass for the sheer sake of focus (any techno bloggers, be welcome to join our team!). I found out about this while exploring the soundcloud networks around Psychick Warriors ov Gaia’s amazing ‘1989 EP‘ which I blogged back in may last year. Like the Psychick Warriors EP, this EP too heavily involves polyrhythmic elements breaking away from the 4/4 + swing syncope formula that is still uncontestedly dominant in the genre. The first track, ‘Dissociate’ sounds like an industrialised version of Siete Catorce’s take on the prehispanic triplet, while ‘Weasels’ is the 100% perfect fusion banger of acid-techno with bubbling! Can these similarities be unintentional, coincidence? I have absolutely know idea who these artists are or whether there is something like a scene around this exciting approach to techno but I do know that, as soon as I heard it, this blew my mind hard. I’d like to educate myself more into this and pay more attention to it on the blog!
Well into the new year, the long awaited new edition of Essential EP’s, most of which are from 2015 still but too essential to skip. An exciting selection which finally has a fair share of cumbia included, some of which you may have seen supported already in Sexxy Saturday Cumbia, but deserves to be included among the essentials. At the same time, the selection is an attempt to be a perfect bridge into the coming year!
There are few things so essential and broadly influential as everything that future-dancehall label MIXPAK does. To my surprise, after our own show on Stranded FM last Friday where I played Florentino’s romantic future-zouk tune ‘Leave’, El Maria from the Bright label club-night & radio show in my hometown, played the exact same track as well as MM & Kid Antoine‘s anthemistic banger Final Response. The other contributors are Escape From Nature’s Orlando Volcano and the London based grime & dancehall producer famous eno. MIXPAK’s Holiday Bundle is by far the most essential compilation in all your sets and playlists for a while ahead this year!
This enthusiastically received compilation has been out for quite a while already and it’s a shame we haven’t been able to support it yet. Where the label made a powerful start with only music from the founding members (ANGEL-HO, Chino Amobi and Nkisi) here the family extends into a wide variety of artists from all over the world, notably gqom collective Rudeboyz and upcoming star GAIKA but also so lesser known artists like Farai and FAKA. I’d love to see the NON family extend even further in the new year. They announced a first edition of a magazine with critical essays, art, photography, poetry and more so that will certainly happen. More about this soon on Generation Bass!
The future Latin club duo Santa Muerte was one of the greatest newcomers last year and will continue to grow in 2016. It was exciting to see how they would connect to many different scenes and sub-scenes, releasing with the futurists from The Astral Plane for example, but also with the tropicalistas from El Flying Monkey. Two weeks ago, they kicked off the new year with an exclusive bootleg pack for the influential GHE20G0TH1K platform.
I listed Tomás Urquieta from Viña del Mar, Chile, as one of the artists to watch in 2016 and I’m almost convinced that his mechanical, even techno-flavoured club EP, which pushes the sounds of the club avant-garde beyond the current club scene’s inner circle, will in retrospect prove to be among the most forward looking works of the year. Therefore here again, in case you haven’t checked it out yet, the entire EP, including exlusive tracks for influential platforms as XLR8R and Complex UK.
In a time where what we once called ‘bandwagons’ look rather like a swarm of spaceships in a Star Wars battle, it is both refreshing and impressive to see somebody undesturbedly pushing a personal style. Few have done this so persistently over the years as the Dallas based future Latin producer Erick Jaimez. His catchy blend of sampled cumbia with crunk beats and house grooves had lots of potential from the very beginning but fell just in between the different centres of gravity existing at the time. Too ‘urban’ to be ‘hipster-tropical’, too much roots to be ‘EDM’ and too experimental to fit into the Mexican tribal, cumbia & norteñas underground. But as time has passed and his followers base has grown steadily, there is finally space arising in the shifting music landscape. Since the beginning, Erick Jaimez has been closely affiliated to the next generation Latin culture movement around El Dusty and his Americano label, which will be gaining even more gravity and attention this year. One of the great signs is the new club night Sonidero Dallas, launched recently, where Erick Jaimez will perform next to Track Meet curator Shook Nite, which smoothly links him to the club avant-garde (circle closed!). More about this soon. For now, feel the vibrant anthem potential of this fresh EP, where Erick’s recognisable style is notably crystallise even further from an innovative experiment into perfected quality production.
Almost a year ago, I selected a previous EP from this upcoming Montreal based Japanese producer as essential. I must also immediately confess that I promised a major post on the mysterious rock-climbing cult genre GORGE, which I never managed to write. But I can tell you that the draft is already sitting on the dashboard to be completed and published soon as one of our major new things this spring. Also an exciting observation is that with releasing on this avant-garde label with close connections with Classical Trax for example, Kazuki as an artist but also gorge as a genre is finding it’s way into the club avant-garde! Compared to the percussive, uptempo dreamy ambient flavoured tone of his previous, equally breathtaking EP, this release is a lot heavier. The rather maximalistic melodic synth, sample and ambient patches and take over the leading position from percussion drums, in a way that often strongly reminds me of 2814‘s post-vaporwave ambient. Also shout out to experimental producer and vocalist Così e Così, whose vocals appear on the second track!
Without any doubt the most independent and enlightened mind in trap, even in his own niche of dark trap which has developed into a vivid underground over the last one and a half year. With Alpha Centauri 1, already two years ago, he was very much pioneering the ‘dark trap’ sound. Not only did that genre not exist yet at that time, its closest cousins, dark trillwave and Chicago drill on the hiphop side were still very underground and very separate from the EDM-trap movement. His unique combination of distorted leads, drums and vocals, indian chants and mystical imagery would completely open new ways for trap music in the years that followed. Now with the second volume, he aims to take the initiative for another next step. Now not against the background of a genre at its peak, but rather after its downfall, free from the dominance of EDM trap and its expectations. Out of the crucible of darkness and its post-apocalyptic ashes he now rises, reborn, transformed into a divine cosmic being, like a transdimensional butterfly, drying its wings in the endless sea of galaxies. Collabs contributions are from fellow dark trap OG Hounds (Canada) and new talent Donny Coke(Amsterdam).
If anyone deserves the honour of being Classical Trax’ most active member, it is certainly the experimental ambient grime producer Morten_HD from Oslo. Next to his contributions to compilations, appearing on every compilation project released by the CT collective and other platforms, he occasionally releases EPs by himself. As a matter of fact he also just released his newest EP via Apothecary Compositions some days ago, while I was already writing this post. Darkside Kygo is such a personal outburst of creativity, re-interpreting EDM-pop hits from the Norwegian superstar DJ Kygo into a wild conceptual blend of ambient noise and classic hardcore with bubbling and soca beats!
As we speak, KUMBALE’s nestor René Gamez a.k.a. SSDSS is on tour in Mexico together with his friend and Esperanza nights co-host Bogdan Krawalski and the Hungarian tropicalist Stas. Meanwhile, they continue releasing fantastic stuff. Bigote, curator of his own cumbia based label and collective Caballito in his country Spain, continued his friendship with KUMBALE, celebrated last month with a special Esperanza edition, with an EP released on KUMBALE: ‘Cumbia Maluca’. Maluca, a Brazilian slang word for a wild, crazy girl, used a lot in baile funk, is the ultimate fusion of the raunchy pleasure vibe of funk with the hypnotic slow grooves of cumbia.
>> DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<
Check out the aftermovie of ‘Esperanza vs Caballito’ here!
Around the same time, Caballito Netlabel itself returned with the 4th ‘Graveton’ compilation, started back in 2010 to showcase the most creative underground bedroom productions with cumbia and reggaeton elements. Unfortunately, not all editions are available online any more, but in its successive releases you would notice the successive development in sound, from the digital cumbia scene’s origins in psychedelic dub towards the banger sound of ‘tropical bass’. This time, the mega compilation with 39 tracks seems dedicated to the sound shift towards the club avant-garde, including not only established names from the digital cumbia scene such as Tribilín Sound and Real Cumbia Activa and but also London club underground OG Endgame, future dembow pioneer Kid Cala and the enigmatic Mexican underground formation Grupo Jejeje. Even more excitingly, even relatively mainstream names from the Andean electrofolk scene are involved like Animal Chuki and Dengue Dengue Dengue, who are normally operating at a fair distance from the new club scene. Yet broad compilations and flexible labels like Caballito are able to bring these worlds together, and that is where the most interesting things will happen.
Leaving 2015 behind it is time to do make some first predictions about what we can expect in the coming year. Last year we saw the massive breakhroughs of some people both under and outside the radar of Generation Bass, such asNidia Minaj,Kamixlo,ANGEL-HOandSanta Muerte. All artists who demonstrate how the underground club scene has become the new centre of gravity for music and how the rebirth of culture from the perspectives and identities of people neglected by the dominant narratives in Western culture, has become the most essential themes. In 2016 these trends will certainly continue and will mutate into new directions. Which ones are not clear to tell yet, but there are some questions that may hint at the possible futures that may give some clues.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LIST OF ARTISTS WHOM I THINK WILL MOST PROBABLY BREAK THROUGH INTO THE SPOTLIGHTS THIS YEAR!)
What will happen to the club trax underground community once its own sucess definitively throws it into the (semi-)mainstream, with its dilemmas around commerce, ethics and ego’s?
We’ve seen this with many other movements once they become popular. Almost certainly will there be copycats at some point who try to benefit from the success formula, with as little dedication as possible. How will this stuff be marketed to larger audiences, and which audiences exactly? What will this do with the high ethical standards concerning race, class and gender which have been unquestionably respected in this scene so far. All these questions we’ve been confronted with before in our history, as the global bass underground was undergoing a similar phase, splitting off into Mad Decent and its following on the one side and.. well.. some small, non-commercial snippets of underground who survived on the other side, including ourselves.
What will happen to the‘dark turn’in genres like trap, dancehall or even more importantly, in the club avant-garde?
More importantly, will it really ‘merge’ with the innovations in dark music like crossbreed, rhythmic noise or abrasive ritual ambient techno? Until now there’s only a negligible fraction of the two sides scene really ‘coming together’, either in online groups or with IRL events (I’ll be playing a set of dark industrial flavoured trap & global bass and avant-garde club at a kinky dungeon night this month, magnet for the post-goth alternative scene, and I’m really curious how it will be received!)
A collab from three absolutely essential names from the new dark generation you need to check out:Volkanos(USA), |CRPT| (Poland) & TRNAH (Poland) !
Even genres as close sound-wise as witchhouse, trillwave, dark trap and dark/agressive subgenres of hiphop share little fanbase or producer-base. Now the boundaries between original genres and subcultures have effectively eroded, what WILL be the new lines dividing scenes and cultural expressions in the coming year? That immediately leads to the next question..
How will the culture-wars develop this year and what will that mean for music?
If one thing is clear from last year, the culture wars have just started yet. Online underground scenes, in almost any field like gaming, tech or fashion blogging, have now been acquainted with the critical call for more diversity and inclusiveness for people of colour, women and LGBTQ people and have witnessed the unfolding of a ever more heated debate between cultural critics, mocked as ‘Social Justice Warriors’, and their opponents, ‘Free Speech Bigots’, who want to maintain their privileged status-quo with an appeal to free expression. This debate has started to surface ever more into mainstream politics, and with the unstoppable impact of the internet and online underground cultures, I expect this to sore to full-blown heights this year. My expectations are bleak. What will happen if the mainstream political spectrum definitively diverges into Tumblr’s mercilessly militant cultural Marxism and 4Chan’s evil anarcho-nihilist glorification of everything we know to be evil, including racism, sexism and LGTBQ-phobia as the ultimate mark of true rebellion. How will this affect avant-garde music, an alternative cultural area in which sharing revolutionary political ideas is bread and butter? The dark-industrial sound and aesthetic is one that can readily be adopted by either camp and in fact already has been.
EDM is dead, but why does psychedelic rave culture still seem to be boiling in the underground in many places of the world, waiting to have its moment?
Something less bleak but still relevant. Since about 2014, I have witnessed the popularity of deephouse in the US and techno in Europe as a clear response to the loud ‘bass-drop-gasm’ formula of festival EDM. Especially in the case of techno, it was the air of exclusiveness and status-boosting elitism that fueled the magic. Once it reached a critical mass, it really took off in the course of several months, with copycat-techno raves mushrooming everywhere. And with the growing mainstream attention for a concept like Burning Man in 2014, I would have bet a fortune on my prediction of a sudden explosion of a Burning Man-inspired crossover mainstream movement in which techno-hipsters could readily take a ‘next step’ into psychedelics, neo-hippie culture, transhuman-futurist philosophy and a crossover of deep techno, psytrance and potentially supplemented with psychedelic bass music, electrofolklore or transhumanistically flavoured post-vaporwave. But, guess what, nothing of that did happen. On the contrary, Burning Man was loudly declared dead this year and an important initiative to denounce the festival and it’s culture as pseudo-open, culturally insensitive, privileged snobbery came precisely from the club underground. Burning Man may have lost its magic, but psychedelic rave culture still seems to be strong and growing in many new places like Brazil and Mexico. Could it still become a potential new centre of gravity for music to move towards?
Future bass producers likeR23Xblend elements together like ‘deep’, the ‘dub’, the ‘tech’, the ‘trill’, the ‘wave’, the ‘tresillo’, the ‘dream’, the ‘vapor’ and the ‘psychedelic’ into something from another dimension
What will happen to Middle Eastern electronic music?
Back in the days, every newly hyped genre was immediately incorporated into the broader movement of ‘tropical bass’ and that in turn into ‘festival EDM’. Now since there was no strong ‘centre of gravity’ any more in 2015, all the amazing Middle Eastern electronic music that we have pushed passionately this year with artists such as Deena Abdelwahed, 8ULENTINA, Dj Haram, Mutamassik, C Production and Streamer and genres like shamstep, arabtronix and desertwave, remained kind of on their own. Not that this heavy incorporation was always a good thing, not at all, it usually squeezed a genre into a prefabricated direction before the producers could even get the deserved recognition for what they had created. 8ULENTINA, Dj Haram and now also Deena are solidly part of the new club movement, but that doesn’t obviously go for all the Middle Eastern electronic music that we’re interested in at Generation Bass.
HABIBIBOI, an upcoming name in the club trax underground who is weaving Arabic elements into club music
Are there still any ignored underground scenes left, or have new ones emerged while we weren’t looking?
The question which new ‘centres of gravity’ will be of influence this coming year will not only influence Middle Eastern electronic genres but in fact any new genre or micro-movement that comes under the attention of the blogo- and Facebookgroup-sphere. But then the obvious question is, after half a decade of introducing new genres from all over the world: are there still any such underexposed sounds left anywhere? Has the internet perhaps made the formation of new local undergrounds impossible?
I am cautious to use the word ‘discover’ for the obvious appropriator-colonialist attitude that comes with it and I definitely don’t approve of that. Yet I think that the way Generation Bass has been an integral factor in many scenes in the past locally and globally, especially in countries like Chile, Mexico and Brazil is very valuable. Could there still a future for Generation Bass in this role for new movements and genres? I think the answer is and should ‘yes’. I spoke to Munchi lately and he told me that the entire internet has been sleeping on very interesting things going on in Puerto Rico’s reggaeton underground that have already started to fade away due to the lack of interest. It’s a shame because this is what Generation Bass has been created for down to the essence. We’ll keep you updated!
What will the urban-eclectic scene do now EDM is dead?
We all know the histoy: music today would not be what it is without the urban eclectic scene in the Netherlands, which started with the Antillean bubbling movement, where DJs started remixing dance tracks, which grew into a vivid crossover scene of electronic music blended with Afro-Caribbean styles like dancehall and reggaeton as well as hiphop and R&B which is much broader than ‘Dutch house’, the main sound that it produced. The multi-culturally driven scene scene effortlessly incorporated new genres like kuduro, azonto, kizomba, went through a latinhouse period and is now all about the new wave of afrohouse, without any ‘help’ from the blogosphere at all. Lately though, sadly enough, the lure of the Major Lazer’s bro-ified formula, which has turned acts like Boaz van de Beatz and Shaun D into semi-superstars, has had a big influence. But that whole magic will quickly die out this year if it hasn’t already. But then, what will be the next centre of gravity for this unique scene?
Grime, once kind of an obscure hobby in the Netherlands for alternative hiphop and UK bass fans, is having its moment in Amsterdam right now. This may perhaps, in the long run, pull the broader Dutch scene towards the club trax movement… but that is still far away, even as the club underground is making its first entrance into the Netherlands right now (HERE & HERE!). A more likely guess is that the scene could first transform itself into a reinvented version of the ‘tropical’ movement. The paradox with todays internet culture is that something seemingly worn out online can still be fresh and new for other crowds. True, ‘música tropical’ is a traditional synonym for Afro-Caribbean music in many parts of Latin America and it will probably stay that way, but in Europe it used to be a gimmick umbrella concept to combine Afro-Latin styles and brand them to hipster crowds as an exotic curiosity. A couple of years ago, the concept had its moment of high expectations and then sank away into the abyss of things passing by also on Generation Bass. But right now it seems to be making a comeback and this time free from the EDM hype machine, being more the truly harmonious fusion of electronic sounds with Afro-Latin genres in the way the Dutch scene has already been since the beginning. Much of the sounds from the tropical movement like moombahton and zouk bass have firmly found their way into the Netherlands by now, turning it into something much more authentic and permanent. My guess is you’ll definitely hear more about this ‘tropical 2.0’ this year, especially if you’re in Europe and are following KUDDEDIEREN (if you weren’t yet, you should be now). More info will follow soon!
Les Rownessbrings the contemporary sound of the urban-eclectic scene and shows how small the distance has become with what blog readers know as ‘global/tropical bass’
Where is the all the live electronic music actually?
Last spring, I was absolutely convinced that 2015 would be the year to say goodbye to not just the EDM industry but DJing as a whole. After all, producers making the tracks and DJ’s playing them on the dance floor is something that seemed to have reached its absolute dead-end with EDM’s superstar-DJs. I expected to see all kinds of different ways of electronic music, especially live bands. The underground club trax movement’s allergy against big entertainment the appreciation of producer-DJs as conceptual artists and storytellers rather than celebrities is certainly a counter-reaction. But the ‘back to the basics of club culture’ attitude still isn’t a true break away from the DJ-formula. Of course there are many new electronic bands pioneering right now but then I don’t have the feeling that they’re getting the amount of attention and recognition as I hoped they would. It may also be that it’s just ME not having my eyes open enough but I hope to see electronic bands get back to the centre of attention again in 2016. This is what I came across in the area of live electronica towards the end of last year and it’s making me very excited for the future!
Appeared earlier on the blog but I can’t repeat it enough, Bedtime Stories(alter ego ofShinji) is an extraordinary, completely independent musician with a style unlike anything else, blending the neo-dark classical touch of legends like Venetian snares with introspective gothic ambient wave into an intense, despairing yet angelic well of emotion.. all recorded and performed live
Featured earlier in theAfrofuturism Festival serieswhere I witnessed her performances live, Camae Defstar a.k.a.Moor Mother Goddess is an artist whom I should have included in the list below because she is not only a magnificent live electronic artist and but also somebody who I think is on the brink of being lifted into the spotlights of the big forward looking music magazines, her recent interview in THE FADER is only the beginning
And.. finally, of course, which specific artists do we need to keep an eye on this year?
This was perhaps the hardest part of the post because I have my own focus and am not aware of everybody in the reach of Generation Bass who may nevertheless do big things this year. Even within my focus scenes combined, there are many more promising upcoming artists than could be included here. Also, there is a big difference between people whom I might personally HOPE to break through and whom I EXPECT that will do so. I tried my best to balance it out but couldn’t escape my disproportional focus on the club avant-garde. But don’t worry, the focus will broaden this year. The dark underground series will finally be launched, with extra attention for the comeback of witchhouse, and I’ll hopefully be able to keep you updated about the Dutch urban-eclectic and new tropical scene, pay massive attention to electronic bands and solo live acts in as many genres and scenes as possible and will also try to actively promote a future generation of psychedelic/transdimensional music.
If there is one artist that I’m 100% sure will make it big from virtually out of nowhere in the same way as KAMIXLO, ANGEL-HO or Chino Amobi did last year is GAIKA, a multi-talented producer, vocalist, songwriter and visual artist from London. Not surprisingly he is also afiliated with the NON label, which will certainly stay one of the most influential labels in 2015. DAZED recently described his unique style as a blend of grime, dancehall, garage, hiphop and R&B with a gothic touch. What makes him particularly unique is that he is with one leg in the club avant-garde scene but at the same time delivers a live stage act that breaks with the DJ-producer formula and can appeal to a much broader audience in scenes like dancehall, grime and hiphop.
I don’t know what it is about the UK. It’s not just London but also other cities where the new club scene is flourishing and three steps ahead of almost everybody else. In Manchester the forward looking Swing Ting night, already one of Manchester’s best club nights back in 2014, is the big motor. The Colombian producer Florentino went from being a practically unknown bass producer to one of the most promising newcomers with the release of his Tu y Yo EP in October last year. His unique, subtle blend of reggaeton, Latin drums (surprisingly similar to what has been going on in the Dutch underground to my own ears), UK bass and club music became an instant hit in the club underground. Funnily, the EP came out just shortly after I wrote this pasionate post about all the great things that moombahton could potentially be but unfortunately isn’t, and would have been the most perfect illustration of what I meant with that post. As Florentino himself also said in a recent interview with FACT MAG, his lightfooted, romantically flavoured style is complementary to the cold industrialism of Kamixlo, both interpreting and expressing their own connection to Latin America’s most influential subculture (reggaeton) in the context of multi-cultural youth life in the UK today.
Probably the most underrated producer of 2015. As the producer for many hit bangers from Dutch acts like Bollebof and Broederliefde (who are also massively underrated outside the Netherlands), most of the credits still go to the vocalists, the faces you see in the music vids and on stage. His productions draw heavily on tarraxo, kuduro and afrobeats and he is in frequent contact with producers from the Portuguese underground, which will hopefully bring more recognition for Portuguese producers in the Dutch scene and the other way around in 2016. Expect big things this year.
His newest production ‘Kwasten’ featuringBollebof&Joyba, THE hit in the Netherlands right now
The Swedish talent Toxe was with pain in my heart not included on my ‘Best of 2015‘ list, even though she, as well as other very promising Staycore 117 affiliated producers Mapalm, Mobilegirl and Mechatok are among the most impressive new talents right now. Right when I heard the ‘Muscle Memory EP‘ and the way in which she is able to transmit something intensely deep and meaningful with very mechanical ambient sounds. Everything, from the subtle polyrhythmic elements, crispy sounds, sample work and cryptic multi-layered titles, is in the right place and creates a unique and magical experience, at the same time incredibly conceptual and incredibly powerful on the dancefloor.
Sometimes I have no explanations for why something does not happen the way I am almost convinced it must happen. The Paris based, Principe Discos signed genius DJ LyCox has been one of the most unique upcoming talents (and one of my permanently favourite producers) for more than a year. Exactly a year ago I would have sworn as confidently as now that he would be heading towards a massivbe worldwide breakthrough, joining the ranks of names like Dj Nigga Fox and Dj Marfox. But compared to other names from the Portuguese underground like Nidia Minaj, he remained completely underrated last year. So now I am saying, yes shouting out loud again that 2016 should and will be the year of Dj LyCox. If you’re still doubting, check out this recent, otherworldly forward looking track. The question is, why isn’t there a monumental, recognisable debut EP yet? If it were up to the productivity of the producer, uploading new music almost every week, he could have had an impressive discography on his name already.
He was at the forefront of a whole new experiment in the Portuguese underground sound: Portuguese batucada/kuduro enriched with hammering distorted 808 bass ..and almost nobody noticed..
Promising new talent GIL from Switzerland was lifted into the spotlights with an incredible release on THUMP half a year ago and has further released via Staycore 117 that same summer. In the meantime he has only released two tracks, nevertheless magnificent, and the last one is three months back already. Like for Dj LyCox, Gil’s unique, energetic blend of dembow, dancehall, baile funk, mechanical sounds and sample work just cries for an EP in the same way as we have seen for most of the other newcomers. If it isn’t in the making already to be announced by surprise, Gil, if you’re reading, we at Generation Bass are excited to release an EP from your hand at any time! (More soon about the Swiss underground scene too…)
Formerly known as Dj Miss Devana, is probably the most underrated producer of everybody in this list. She hasn’t yet been lifted into the big spotlights by any of the major platforms, nor in the Netherlands, even though she is making incredibly unique stuff for more than a year now. People from the moombahton scene and the wider global bass folks like the KUMBALE label have definitely shown love for a while now and that is a great start but (and that surprises me actually) she is still virtually unknown in the underground club scene. I’m really looking forward to see her get the recognition she’d deserve by platforms like the Staycore 117 fam or the Classical Trax community, as well as by the Dutch urban-eclectic scene. Preferably at the same time. The passionate dedication, unique style and talent is definitely there!
We may know newcomer JKZ, formerly know as Rain Jx or JAKZ, from our massive DoomBahTon compilation and from the Favela Trap House EP but he isn’t even a fraction as known as he should be. Expect a post soon about him and the underground scene around him: a collective of friends who are into experimental music, dark sinister stuff and just doing things differently in a way that creates something unique. JKZ is his producer project, focused on energetic dark trap with a touch of vapor/trillwave and baile funk. Shortly ago, he launched a second project as a rapper rapping over self produced beats: $KA. Where JKZ is about dark energetic bangers, $KA pushes a mystical, smokey ambient chill sound where again, traces of baile funk come back in a way never done before. Much like GAIKA, he creates a format where the producer and the MC blend into a live act formula with the potential to appeal to push the music into whole new directions.
When I got into contact with Munchi a couple of months ago he told me, prepare for the secret EP of Godwonder, carefully prepared and crafted under his direction, dedicated entirely to making music that bridges the gap between the contemporary street sounds of the Dominican Republic and of Amsterdam. 2016, without any doubt, will be the year of Godwonder and not just because Munchi has attached his name to it. With this new EP, out within a couple of days, Godwonder shows that he has found his direction and sound and is ready to leave his lasting mark on the development of music for the coming years.
Closing with yet another producer from the club underground whom I’m both very enthusiastic about and also convinced he will definitely break through this year. Interestingly although well appreciated in the club trax scene, he is not affiliated to any of its major labels but recently released a magnificent debut EP (‘Manuscript EP‘) on the forward looking label Infinite Machine, which is certainly ‘avant-garde’ in attitude but definitely not limited to club music, also releasing a lot of great experimental techno and house flavoured music. It is precisely this open connection, beyond the immediate borders of the new club scene, that make Thomás Urquieta’s music a powerful example to imagine music in a near future when the current fresh club trax sound has transformed and durably influenced everything.
I think the best way to explain this EP is: there is no limits at internet. How a mix of cultures and elements so different, can result in a interesting sound? Guarachero with guitars following the beat of baile funk. How this three diferente elements can be combined in a unique music? I don’t know, but maybe producer Dj Chernobyl has the solution.
Take your own interpretation about EP. I liked and I’m sharing it.
Sometimes it happens that an artist fame becomes limited by just one decisive track. In the beginning I was afraid that that might happen to DJ Dotorado, whose bangerAfrican Scream rose to absolute anthem proportions virtually out of nowhere, quickly overshadowing the artist behind it. That he is a boundary pushing, creative artist with the potential to become an established name already became clear in March with his first EP I can no longer find on Soundcloud… And now at the threshold of 2016, at the bright end of a fundamental year for music, DJ Dotorado definitively proves himself ready to stay in the spotlights.
When ‘African Scream’ came out, DJ Dotorado was only 16 years old. Today, nearly two years later, he has developed a broad, eclectic style as well as a solid fanbase. Like in the previous EP he draws again from a wide range of genres including trap, chicago drill, baile funk, kizomba and fodençia, alongside his caracteristic melodic-euphoric afrohouse.
If there should be any startingpoint to push underground sounds we’ve supported over the last last years into mainstream audiences this winter, it is undoubtedly MALUKU EP VOL.2!
When I started to publish at blog Funk na Caixa, the baile funk culture was talking with electro and maximal. For me, was a perfect combination: 130 BPM, electro synths and baile funk vocals. But, in 2010/2011, the trap became so much popular, that producers started to recreate neo baile on trap beats. I didn’t like it. I like 130. BUT, guess who is back?
Favela Terror is a compilation by Funk na Caixa and Dirty Kidz Gang. The idea here is to show the brazilian interpretation about jungle terror. We asked for 4 producers to show it: Viní, Ruxell, Flying Buff and Citizen Kannot – who had support by Mc Maromba and Mc R1.
I’m very suspicious to say, but there is 4 great songs. Each track show a different influence for jungle terror. Flying Buff dropped heavy and fast beats ; Ruxell mixed the original vocals of baile funk with trap and fast beats; Viní used all horns from baile funk, in a 2015 style and Citizen Kannot produced with vocals of Mc Maromba and R1, to most close jungle track.
All material is for free download here. And I can tell: baile funk is changing, and more fresh tracks we will listen by producers from favela.
Great mixtape here made up of a lot of great Dancehall tracks but also including most other trans bass genres such as Gqom, Afrobeat, Baile funk, Kuduro, Jersey Club and so much more.
Ripley is one of the most intelligent, level-headed and ethical Dj’s I have had the pleasure to meet on the internet and also one of the most important. If there’s one person I would back down from a debate, it’s likely to be this person as most of the time, her POV is the most sensible and pragmatic.
She has collated nearing on 50 explosive tracks in this tremendous mix which keeps you engaged from start to finish.
That ‘More Ganja” song always has me in stitches!
“Destination: Stratosphere! Don’t let the villains bring you down! RISE AND SHINE”
1. Temptress Too Long Maramza
2. Agulo Wo (Rmx) Afrikan Roots ft. Silyvi & Bebucho Q Kuia
3. Terminator (Max le Daron Afrobeats Remix) Famous Eno x Rubi Dan
4. MAK3 LOVE (Original Mix) CVNT TRAXXX
5. Lucy (Soca 2015) Destra Garcia
6. Bottom Power (Prod by Nshorna) Slim Kofi
7. Rollercoaster Oliver twist riddm Afrikan Boy & D’banj D’banj
8. Oliver Twist (Remix) Estelle, D’Banj
9. More Ganja (Oliver Twist Yard Remix) Stylo G feat. Warning
10. Nzendi Wakabi SK Simeon
11. Aki Special Remix Uproot Andy
12. Som Sista (feat. Anbuley) Atropolis
13. Bacanisimo (By L-Vin) Wilo D con Bubloy
14. Tarzan El Alfa ft. La Materialista
15. Wossop remix ft Kwaw Kese (Prod by Brundai) Bradez
16. Harissa (Lewis CanCut Remix) [Allmostt Master] Jabo
17. Recebe (Afro House) – Black House Gaia Beat
18. Estracœºalho (Vocal Vibe) Original Mix DJ Satelite
19. Baile Somebody Sango
20. Dj Tide – Mãozinha de Hipoglós Frente Bolivarista
21. Aqui Pra Voces (Mastiksoul Samba Remix) Buraka Som Sistema
22. Controlando Mr Profeta & Filipe (Prod By Breyco)
23. Damelo Chimbala Ft La Insuperable
24. Got Your Money DJ Deekline & Red Polo
25. Pisicodelia (Nego Mozambique Remix) Zuzuka Poderosa & Kush Arora
26. Bitch 3F3XT
27. This Bass Thing is So Real Ghetto Drop Playa Poncho & La Sno
28. Bad Ass Bass Heavyweight Crew
29. Hai Hai Punjabi Hit Squad/Satwinder Bitty feat Ms Scandalous
30. Dulahin (Prod._By_StarBlu_Entertainment) Drupatee
31. Switch Vibes Sekon Sta
32. No Control Skinny Fabulous
33. Macaco Mala Noche
34. Latin Soul (Banginclude Remix) Ralfi Pagan
35. Quiero Sudar (Rizzla Crash Edit) Super Don Miguelo
36. Work It (King Kong Goes Duro Remix) Missy Elliott
37. Shots – Keysound Recordings Detboi
38. O Matumbo Dj N.K.
39. Made In Brazil DJ Marfox
40. 3Ball Groove FLV$H
41. Avocado Jah9
42. Burn Dem Hat+Hoodie
43. Ai Nadia Octa Push feat. Oumou Sangare
44. Hebe Ckrono & Slesh
45. The Next Episode (Rajeev Gualtiero & Ridalio bootleg) Rajeev Gualtiero
46. Zion’s Speech The Clerk feat. Milangeles
47. Baddest Little Filly Marcy Chin
48. Bahea! Lucio K
49. Rude Master Pa Kongal
Has any of you Generation Bass readers ever wondered what it would be like not just to read the posts and listen to the music by yourself, but to be together, listen, share and talk simultaneously as if you were together in a club? That is exactly what happens at the interactive music sharing platform plug.dj, successor of the popular turntable.fm after that initiative was effectively destroyed by the music industry. There is an active and growing number of netlabels using plug to strengthen the community of producers and fans online and to exchange new ideas in real time. You suddenly find yourself not only discovering and discussing amazing new music in a much more intense way than on Facebook, you´re at the same time surrounded by dancing and DJ’ing robots, pizza slices and jellyfish, which creates a totally surreal, addictive experience.
The international music collective Lush Selectsis a pioneer in the use of online music sharing with regular, well visited Sunday School sessions in their own plug.dj room which they have been organising for a year now. Active participants record a 20 minutes long mixtape, preferably a video-mix with animated visuals or a recording of the performance added, uploaded to Youtube or Soundcloud, to be showcased during the session. In between the mixtapes, there’s always some room for interactive ‘collective back-to-back’ music sharing.
The last, already 18th edition of Sunday School was two weeks ago. But since we at Generation Bass wanted to announce and attend it but missed, here a recap of what the artists have delivered and what we could have experienced.
Vlkvi&moistbreezy teamed up for an absulutely fantastic back-to-back set of apocalyptically flavoured avant-garde club, post-rap, post-witch house and ambien! Keep an eye on them because judged by their numbers of Soundcloud followers they’re heavily underrated!
Vord also made an edited visual recording of his set, focused on hypnagogic garage beats. This video in particular shows the power of editing video-performance in combination with music, drawing both the artist and the into a whole other universe that appears beyond from time and space!
Starfoxxxmakes even more surreal, with a lo-fi webcam video from an intimate bedroom setting, blowing bubbles, wearing cloud and strawberry masks. Transmission issues between Mars and Earth have glitched the data into a psychedelic cloud-trip. Imagine this projected on the big screen above the virtual dance floor populated with ponies, robots and carnivorous plants and the absurdism is complete!
The French sound-wizzardShinji, whose album Myst has been one of our most favourete releases this year, is mostly making music via his melancholic alter-egoßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş lately. But for this session he unleashes the dark energy once more with a powerful witch house and metalstep mix, accompanied by distorted, suggestively sinister and horror visuals!
Logicoma is a multi-talented post-trap and futurebeats oriented dj-producer and visual artist based in Baltimore (US). As an affiliate of the VOIDSKUADcollective, he is part of the movement that bridges the gap between the sounds from the post-internet underground and the avant-garde of hiphop. His Sunday School video-mix is a perfect illustration of the characteristic sound pushed by this movement, combined with the equally characteristic, post-internet flavoured animations!
The last video-mix is from the French underground alrounderT0T0, featuring melodic, even psychedelic flavoured chill vibes from genres including futurebass, IDM, chillwave and more!
The two-headed cybernetic monsterFrank & Stan deliver 20 minutes of high voltage electrostep and DnB!
Seudofrom Columbus (US) leans more towards virtual angel-rave, nightcore and kawaii flavoured future bass!
Circuitree, from Lincoln (US), who describes the project as “celebration of the fusion of organic and synthetic elements in our lives,” present a powerful mix with cybernetically charged DnB, electrostep and moombahcore!
The last contribution is intr3pico from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has been a faithful contributor to the Sunday School sessions and is also celebrating his own artistic anniversary with this mix. It’s a very diverse mix that sharply illustrates the opennes of the online music scene today. His inclusion of some baile funk and Brazilian folkloric bass elements also give a first insight in what it might sound like to have this sort of thing in a Generation Bass setting!