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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Essential EP’s #4

EssentialEPs4

Exciting releases are coming in a much faster tempo than we can keep up with. That’s why you’ll find some older stuff in here too. We’ve got a diverse selection of styles again. With quite a lot of future bass this time, for Generation Bass standards, but also a couple of impressive classic-tropical releases. Add these treasures to your sets and playlists this summer and get a taste of the directions in which music is heading!

Previous essential EP’s >> #1 ; #2 ; #3

1. Shinji Myst LP

Shinji from Paris is one of the most multi-faceted upcoming young producers today, whose deconstructionist style covers everything between kawaii vibes, classical music, witch house and breakcore. I interviewed him earlier this year and there he announced that his track Vers Les Etoiles was going to be part of a bigger release to be called Myst. This extensive 12-tracks long album is finally out now, released by our friends over at internet-underground label URL Future!

If you liked the emotional delicacy of Vers Les Etoiles, the album is a straight eye opener. Listening to it feels like accompanying the producer’s on an ayahuasca trip into the deepest crypts of his inner being. In an interview with Cvltstars blog Shinji explains: “Myst […] has to be read as a contraction of ‘My Mist’. […] The artwork is a modified picture of me holding a coral, surrounded by an opaque fog […] an insight into the tortured mind behind this…” Myst is the musical crystallisation of Shinji’s philosophy: representing the voice of what he calls the ‘singularities’ of this world. The growing number of rejected young people in our society who fail to find their identity in any existing group, wandering through life like a gasseous molecule in empty space.

Press play and be tossed around the entire emotional spectrum on the waves of ethereal ambient noise, retro-gothic synthpop, neo-classical harmonies, melancholic vaporwave and more.

Download the album for free!

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2. F L ♥ R E S フラワ  ズ 3 EP

URL Future also released another marvelous EP I’ve been sleeping on last month, but which would have been one of my favourites if I had known about it. Flxres (‘flores’ or ‘flares’, not sure..) フラワーズ is a promising new-generation electropop project based in Menifee, USA. At the beginning of this year we announced a comeback of 80s electronica and it is very fascinating to see it happen in front of your eyes. The most exciting thing is that this exploration of 80s and early 90s sounds is led by a generation who hasn’t lived those days, being entirely free from the purist urge to preserve a genre’s ‘heyday sound’ behind sterilised glass walls.

In many ways, ズ 3 EP is in fact much more a fresh eruption out of the depths of the internet than it is a traditional retro-project. The bubbling, subterranean magma goo, gushing out microgenres like witch house, vaporwave and bubblegum bass now seems to bring out a sound that resembles the spirit of 80s, gothic flavoured cyberpunk, reinventing it as if it has never existed before. Long, black trenchcoats, cybernetic implants, rainy neon cityscapes and dim blue lit underground clubs where sweaty industrial bands perform for a small, drugged crowd swaying back and forth to the ethereal, dystopian grooves. Flxres shows a future which is still ahead of us.

Free download here!

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3. Monotronique Afrika EP

Stumbling across this pearl of a release, it’s almost unbelievable to find out how underrated this promising avant-garde grime producer from Ukraine is. His style brings in mind highly respected front-runners like Fatima Al Qadiri.

It may be bold to draw such comparison for a beginning producer but the similarities with Fatima Al Qadiri go even deeper. Afrika EP in essence does with Africa what Fatima’s ‘Asiatisch‘ did with the Far East: it takes you on a virtual trip into an imagined, rather than the actual Africa. By evoking a similarly hollow, plastified experience, it makes you wonder what is left if after all the layers of meaning Western society attaches to the most diverse continent on the planet, have evaporated into the air. What’s left is minimalistic, polyrhythmic percussion, accompanying distant fragmented snippets of imagery that isn’t there and gets destroyed in the experience. This makes Afrika EP therefore vastly different from traditional ‘tribal ambient music’ or artists like Clap Clap, who create a thick, prescribed ambiance that should contrast with our own, unable to free themselves from presenting Africa through ongoing Western cliches of primitive tribalism and savage beauty.

Brilliant avant-garde kuduro from a producer who is there to stay!

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4. Mareaboba Bioamorfo

The Mexican acid-cumbia experimentalist Maraboba is a producer whom we haven’t blogged as much in the past as I expected. Shame on us, because Mareaboba is one of the more interesting names from the still vibrant digital cumbia underground, which is temporarily off my radar but has an important place in my heart.

Bioamorfo is a unique release, coming from the direction of psychedelic cumbia experimentalism of artists like Tu Guaina or 420 Music Flavor, but at the same time becoming so dystopian that it can be seen as an example of the growing fusion of global, non-Western rhythms with the dark-hard side of electronic music.

Caballito is also an interesting label which, like us at Generation Bass, forms in many ways a bridge between and the global avant-garde and the now marginal turn-of-the-decade ‘tropical’ scene which have become completely different worlds.

Grab it for free!

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5. Alfonso Luna Alfonso Luna EP

If there is anyone who stays faithful to the original movement of tribal prehispanico and at the same time keeps innovating it, it is the Monterrey based techno-folklorist Alfonso Luna. He releases exciting new stuff on a monthly basis and, unique for most 3ball producers after the earliest oldskool perdiod, experiments with different rhythms and tempos that deviate from the standard 140 BPM syncopated-cumbia groove.

In Alfonso Luna EP, released by our friends from Kumbale in Germany, he shows the best of the entire spectrum of his diverse style. With tracks like ‘El Dios Luna’ and ‘Mexica’, he deviates even more from the conventional paths than usual, getting into experimental techno and deep-dub territory. 3ball prehispanico and techno go very well together and I hope this EP will inspire producers to release more of such experiments in the near future!

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6. Sonido Berzerk Unworthy EP

On the cover art I made some weeks back I forgot to put a reference to the London based label Etoro Records that released it, so here still a major shoutout. The bass alrounder from Veracruz, Mexico, must be a familiar name for dedicated readers. His eclectic style combines grime, juke, jungle, hiphop, dub and dembow blended together with a melodic chill flavour. This makes him fit seamlessly into the post-EDM global avant-garde, global bass fused with future beats and the internet-underground.

Unworthy EP is such an EP which is as much future beats as it is traditional global bass. Deep dub techno, afrohouse, baile funk, salsa, bachata, juke, kuduro, kizomba, merengue and deephouse.. everything is fused together organically into a thoughtful, slightly melancholic trip which is best listened to alone at a late summer night.

Get it on Bandcamp!

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7. La Fama Blanca Baile Tropicante

Baile tropicalte is a compilation and La Fama Blanca is not technically the author but he is the host of the recurring Baile Tropicante tropical club nights in Lisbon. Even though the tropical movement as we have known it in the past is no longer at the forefront of the global music avant-garde as it was back in 2010, it has retracted into a thriving and vibrant underground which keeps on generating treasures.

This grand compilation features many Generation Bass household names as well as some lesser known artists, all more than worth checking out: the Dutch organic tropical duo UMOJA, the Chilean digital cumbiambero Señor Chancho, the Peruvian rising tropical indie duo Animal Chuki, the Argentinian Latin-dub producer El Barba Dub, the Argentinian tropical bass duo FAAUNA, Caballito Netlabel nestor and tropical vanguardist BIGOTE, the French soulful tropicalist iZem, the Brazilian alternative tropical project Sistema Criolina, the Spanish cumbia fusionist DJ Caution, the Madrid based Colombian organic cumbia duo Guacamayo Tropical, the Mexican extraterrestrial cumbia futurist Asagi Saund, Caballito affiliated ‘graveton’ bangerista Grita, and Kzike Guacamayero Cumbiero who I believe is one half of Guacamayo Tropical.

Baile Tropicante are 15 tracks full of organic dub influenced Afro-Latin grooves. A warm-memory infused sound which, for our generation, can perhaps already be called ‘classic’.

Download track by track on soundcloud!

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8. Moniker Thousand Bit

Bangeristas attention!! The American bass duo Moniker are an upcoming name in the future bass world and his style is absolutely RAD! This is forward-looking bass music at its full potential, involving complex rhythms, diverse percussion sounds and a storehouse of influences when it comes to synth sounds. Much future bass today seems to go down the same road towards destruction as EDM, falling in the pitfall of replicating the same formulas over and over, even before the genre has fully replaced EDM as the new commercial grab bag of everything electronic. But Moniker shows how it can be done and the result is brilliant, intense and uplifting!

Guest appearances are made by the Generation Bass affiliated crew BANGANAGANGBANGERS, the Dutch bass bangerista Subp Yao, the Utrecht based future beats alchemist Frenquency, the enigmatic prodigy Rustybird, and the psychedelic bass alchemist from Cincinnati, Spankalicious.

Free download!

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9.
GROVESTREET
World Series Vol.7

Trax Couture is a London Based avant-garde label, club-night and clothing store created by the forward looking cultural alrounder Rushmore, one of the influential voices of the London club underground. Their monthly ‘World Series’ LP series has been running since about a year now, showcasing the promising underground artists, mainly in the vibrant area where flavours like ghetto-house, vogue grime and juke are constantly being blended into new exciting sounds.

This time (actually I realised the next edition is out already..) it is the internet-underground inspired futurist GROVESTREET, an absolute must-follow for Generation Bass readers, who delivers 5 magnificent tracks which combine the most unlikely genres such as industrial techno, experimental ambient, vaporwave and grime!

Get the EP here!

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10.
 Lege 伝説 
The Colours EP

Lege Kale is a skilled producer whose style reminds in more than one aspect of Mr. Carmack’s uncategorisable eclecticism. It’s not future beats (in the narrow sense), not trap, not instrumental hiphop but truly something in between. “Who cares?” you may ask, but it does matter in a time where most new musicians copy fixed formats all the time and genres, even umbrella terms like EDM and future beats, lose creativity and diversity almost as soon as they become ‘a thing’.

In a sense, ‘The Colours EP’ is the chill answer to Moniker’s ‘Thousand Bit’, also combining catchy beats, delicious polyrhythmic percussion and subtle well-produced synth work in a brilliant way. I’d love to see him collab with Moniker in the future!

Download on Bandcamp!

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11.
Lascivio Bohemia
Le Rumbé Saboralia

It’s been a while since I have had the time and opportunity to pay attention to one of the most promising newcoming labels of last year: Regional from Chile. They’ve released quite some great stuff in the meantime so I picked the release that I found most exciting of all: an experimental 11 track electro-folklore album from the Ecuadorian alrounder Lascivio Bohemia. Cumbia is blended with other prehispanic Andean and Afro-caribbean rthythms such as mambo, dembow and downtempo 3ball, accompanied by extensive sampling and dreamy as well as rough, experimentally flavoured synths.

Le Rumbé Saboralia connects the haydays of Sexxy Saturday Cumbia to the fast changing global music landscape of today!

Grab it now!

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12.
SIMPIG
Strangers LP

SIMPIG, formerly known as the duo Shake it Maschine & Mr.Pigman, from Switzerland are probably a new name for many Generation Bass followers but not if you’re familiar with the vibrant underground of juke, footwork & alternative trap which is constantly feeding new sounds into the future-bass/futurebeats movement. A name to keep an eye on definitely!

Strangers LP is a breathtakingly perfect artwork of complex rhythm and melody. Traces of juke, footwork, jersey club, grime and trap can be recognised but the whole of every track transcends genres completely. The melodic work is a true composition that goes beyond club music, dragging you into an almost cinematic grippingly melancholic, future-noir scenery!

Buy on Junodownload!

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Chomba Boom – Can’t Stop My Gangsta

c-BOOm3smaller

Heres a fun little joint from a project of mine called CHOMBA BOOM.  It’s a collaboration project between me (Loki @daTrixta) and Chilean producer Richi Tunacola.  The video here was shot this past Feburary in Valparaiso, Chile.  It’s a little electro, a little latin, a little rap, a little pop.  Hope y’all like it!