Essential EP’s #9

EssentialEPs9

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!

1. Mixpak Holiday Bundle 2015 (MIXPAK)

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!

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

2. NON WORLDWIDE COMPILATION, VOL. 1 (NON)

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!

>> BUY HERE <<

3. Santa Muerte SANTA MUERTE BOOTLEGS (GHE20G0TH1K)

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.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/ghe20g0th1krecords/sets/santa-muerte-bootlegs

4. Tomás UrquietaManuscript EP (Infinite Machine)

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.

>> BUY HERE <<

5. Erick Jaimez Dallas Cumbiaholic 3 (Americano)

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.

>> BUY HERE <<

https://soundcloud.com/erickjaimez/sets/dallas-cumbiaholic-3

6. Kazuki Koga The Salathé Wall (Apothecary Compositions)

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!

>> BUY HERE <<

7. GAMEFACE Alpha Centauri 2

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).

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

8. Morten HD Darkside Kygo

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!

>> DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

9. BIGOTE Cumbia Maluca (KUMBALE)

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 <<

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7X1bZn3gjQ

Check out the aftermovie of ‘Esperanza vs Caballito’ here!

10. GRAVETON IV (Caballito)

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.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

Young Yogi

YoungYogi

Remember the post where I introduced you to GAMEFACE‘s experimental side project GamefaceLab? He recently refashioned that channel into a full blown experimental side project named Young Yogi!

Expect the same radically out-of-the-box mystical trap with indian influences as we know from Gameface’s, but with a more experimental touch to it. Check it out here!

Young Yogi is also the title of Gameface‘s new mixtape series where he presents his new work, of which the second volume came out last week. Press play and become one with the dark forces of the cosmos!

 

Darkness Rising [Special Mega Feature]

Darkness

***

This was originally a Krampus-special, planned for half a year ago. Last year, I first introduced krampus to Generation Bass in a legendary edition of Sexxy Saturday Cumbia.

***

And with every passing year, ever more people all over the world are finding out about this frightening creature that unleashes chaos and darkness in the streets of cities and villages at the onset of December. There was a Krampus Walk and Krampus Fest in Rotterdam to which couldn’t make it so a Youtube clip is all I can give you until upcoming year…

This is what regained my interest Krampus, a radiopodcast from Rotterdam, hosted by forward looking minds from the dark-alternative electronic scene who have been pioneering in the borderlands of hardcore, industrial, schranz and more. Since this year they’ve launched a campaign to introduce krampus in the Netherlands to show that an alternative to the Dutch idiotic blackface tradition doesn’t need to be a character-less, watered-down-consensus figure, but can also be something vibrant and exciting. As a teaser for the krampus walk and krampus fest, they made this podcast with a 2 hours of mindblowing brutal dark beats and background information about krampus (in Dutch).

https://soundcloud.com/rtvrijnmond/krampus-naar-nederland

***

At the same time, I’ve witnessed a rise of dark, apocalyptic vibes in many areas of music, including global bass genres. We’re in the midst of a transition and ever more revolutionary chaos is spreading in music and in our understanding of virtually everything in the world around us. I’ve been talking with people about the idea of dystopian futurism and darkness in music, fashion, art and wider culture for about a year now and mainstream vids like Skrillex ft. Ragga Twins‘ ‘Ragga Bomb‘ and Skrillex newest video Dirty Vibe‘ confirmed that gut-feeling.

As I explained in my skullbass post, there are three main innovations going on in our times: 1.) fusions of different dark/hard genres music such as hardcore, breakcore, drum ‘n bass, dark dubstep, dark techno, industrial, hard electro, noise music and metal; 2.) global bass; and 3.) fusions between urban flavours with dark music and aesthetics.

Fusions between styles that are known as dark and those that are not that much known as dark have, in fact, always been there, but throughout the 2000’s, the hey-days of animosity between scenes, it has never grown out into something more substantial. But towards the 2010’s, a fusion emerged between southern Chopped n screwed hiphop and gothic flavours which became hyped by the music media (in parallel with global bass) as which house. Remeber those days? Witch house was kind of the ‘thing’ before seapunk and vaporwave and a lot has been written about it that seems to be iconic for music in the internet-age: is it an actual genre? when did it become a ‘thing’? was it just an empty bandwagon?

And the list is much longer. Venus x‘ vanguard movement GHE20G0THIK is probably the most transformative cultural initiative of our time, Tommy Lee Sparta fused dark sounds and gothic aesthetics with dancehall in a way nobody has ever done before. But dark-alternative dancehall is growing (more about this later), and so is industrial hiphop, brought into the mainstream by Death Grips & Kanye West. And only think about the dark-industrial influences in bass music genres like grime, dubstep and DnB, which are endless.

So what’s the idea.. Global bass is the source of innovation for EDM while dark-alternative music incorporates ever more flavours of dance music (for an excellent history of how goth incorporated EBM and trance and transformed it into cybergoth and then died of a lack of innovation listen to this podcast!) and urban music is innovating by incorporating dark, abrasive flavours. Considering that global bass itself are often urban inspired rather than dance inspired music, an eventual convergence of dark music and global bass rhythms and flavours seems almost unevitable. And with internet trends like Healthgoth now also embracing the idea of cross-genre dark music, there is only more potential for this to happen in 2015.

Munchi was years ahead of his time..

To actively speed it up, I created the Facebook group Dark Bass Underground, later turned into (for the lack of a more accurate name) Dark Electronic Music to share stuff from both sides, trying to inspire people. And especially now we at Generation Bass started the NXNW section, we also moved more solidly into dark terrain. Time to celebrate it with a massive dark bass post, with picks from the best of what has been shared in that group so far.

One of my main loves when it comes to dark music is the 80s retrofuture-noir atmosphere of cyberpunk, which I call ‘a mirror’ for our own world. It is the sound that emerged as people were thinking about the times ahead of them that we are now living in, and it is only logical that this music will rise again after the euphoria and consumerist air castles from the 90s are stripped away. Perturbator is one of the most important new generation of artists who is bringing dark, often analog, synth music back to the forefront of electronic music today! Check out this amazing set from November!

What’s especially promising about analog oriented styles like ebm, early electro, early techno, synthwave and synthpop is that they can be performed by bands and can break the current dominance of DJing in electronic music. As I found out while writing this post, the line between live and pre-recorded is often very blurred when it comes to performances of electronic bands, but nevertheless, this performance from the Detroid based electro band Dopplereffekt shows what kind of things we may see much more in the future.

Now compare this to the legendary Boiler Room performance of the ruidosón OG’s Los Macuanos, and imagine what may happen if band-based electronica and global bass will merge on a larger scale!

The Enigma TNG is one of my all-time favourite producers, with an eclectic retro-futuristic approach that varies between cinematic electronica, industrial and hiphop!

GR∆V3☦ROBB∆ is currently one of the most active and experimental names in witch house. He doesn’t follow fixed formulas but always explores diverse sounds, from dark dubstep to ritual ambient to techno!

For more of most forward-looking witch house, check out one of my absolute favourite YouTube cannels: Nightmares & 808s. This mindblowing, industrial-inspired tune from the Russian dark avant-garde producer Greycity is a good example of the fantastic stuff that you will find on this channel!

Before I move to the next genre, here an stunning, genre-crossing tune from Wanage Ska, an industrial & witch house producer from Rosebud Sioux Tribe reservation Lakota!

A whole different kind of fusion of dark sounds and southern hiphop is dark trap. As an antidote to the brainless euphoric laser-sound of festival trap, dark trap could be called ‘funeral trap’, combining distorted 808s with ritual chants, mysterious pads, trans-dimensional synths and brutal bass stabs.

If there is anyone who should be credited as the originator of dark trap, it is the cosmic trapgod Gameface. Check out his newest, apocalyptic track that pierces a hole in the veil between life and death, in the middle of the harshness of the streets!

https://soundcloud.com/officialgameface/karakorum

Another rising dark trapper is the Portuguese producer Bruno Alison! That subtle percussion is just perfect and my deepest wish is that he will collaborate with the Portuguese tarraxo underground one day!

https://soundcloud.com/nextgentrap/bruno-alison-limbo

Avant-garde producer Flint Beastwood from Amsterdam made this stunningly dark for his grand Blasphemy Age album that was just too good to leave out.. It’s definitely the darkest track on the list but if you want to hear some of the best post-internet underground vibes, you should definitely check it out!

https://soundcloud.com/realmsix/flint-beastwood-god-of-hellfire

A specific genre of ‘dark urban music’ to mention is drill, Chicago’s dystopian, ice-cold cousin of Atlanta trap, which has been on the rise over the last years as one of the new major waves of hip hop, known for acts like Bobby Schmurda and Chief Keef. The harsh lyrics go hand with the most spine-chilling dark sounds that sometimes comes close to a industrial ambient flavour, fused with downtempo 808 beats, like this throat-gripping instrumental by Dj Hitkidd!

https://soundcloud.com/dj-hitkidd/shooters-prod-by-dj-hitkidd

Industrial music, the prototype of all dark electronic music, seems to be in a state of confusion for a while now, torn between innovators and purists who do everything to keep existing sounds subgenres the way they are. Meanwhile, fans hop into ther scenes, such as hardcore or goa.

But in all different corners of the umbrella term ‘industrial’ there are interesting things going on. Especially now the early and heydays of industrial are being rediscovered in the wake of internet hypes like healthgoth, I’ll expect it to get only better in 2015!

For me personally, this massive yet thoughtful electro-metal flavoured stomper from the German band Chrysalide was the best industrial single of 2014! Download it from their webpage!

The experimental producer Grimstatic keeps impressing me with a eclectic blend of dark electro, harsh EBM, industrial noise and complex rhythmical patterns. I’ve been reposting him for a while and I’m happy I can finally support him on Generation Bass!

Electronic Body Music and industrial music are not the same thing but they are often heard together, especially when it’s harsh EBM. Generation Bass on an 80s underground synth trip and EBM is definitely a fascinating movement of electronic music rooting in the 80s that you will hear more often on the blog in 2015. Here an great example of an 80s flavoured EMB tune that blows my mind!

Spectral Incision is an experimental producer who calls his own style ‘industrial filth’: a fusion of industrial, metal and dubstep. His newest track explores a whole new sound, an abrasive, percussive DnB-flavoured beat with a vibe that goes into the direction of zoukbass!

And here another experimental industrial track, from eclectic dark producer Beat Driven Insomnia, fusing a typical industrial cyber-electro synths with an uptempo, distorted breakbeat!

And from Argentina we’ve got PSICOTOP, a very interesting experimental producer who fuses industrial and EBM with dark ambient, noise and Latin influences. I originally wanted to blog a track where you could clearly hear elements of cumbia and salsa but he took it off his soundcloud so here another amazing example. Not exactly industrial, but dark ambient with flute sounds from the Andes!

https://soundcloud.com/psicotop/se-que-te-vas

In you are interested in what’s happening at the front-line of innovation in hardcore and all its sub-branches, check out the magnificent label Noisj and new events such as N.O.R.A.D., where excellent crossovers between hardcore, DnB and hard techno are starting to form a whole new generation of hard-dark music fans from many different directions. People from the cyber-industrial scene, the still substantial gabber underground, from DnB, from raggacore, acid and tek, from hard techno.. all have found their way into this new and exciting world.

Let’s start with crossbreed, a hybrid genre of hardcore and DnB, which I heard is still far from embraced both by the hardcore scene among DnB fans. First an example which is still close to the darker side of DnB, by the Russian dark-hard eclecticist DNE!

https://soundcloud.com/noisj-nl/noisjltd-32-dne-control

And here a crossbreed track with the same monstruous energy as hardcore, a fresh release from the Belgian innovative hardcore duo Existh!

https://soundcloud.com/noisj-nl/noisjltd-39-existh-we-gave

With more complex breakbeat patterns on the high frequencies it becomes breakcore rather than crossbreed. There’s some very interesting experimental stuff out there which tries to bring the drum insanity from breakcore and the brutal harshness from hardcore closer together.. Check out this stunningly futuristic track by Maza (Russia) & The Infernal Brothers (Russia)!

https://soundcloud.com/noisj-nl/noisjltd-38-maza-the-infernal

Other experimental vibes go more into a melodic, quiet direction, like ‘dreamcore’. With soothening pads & piano work, Ragnarok (Norway) & Starving Insect (Sweden) manage to fuse abrasive, distorted kicks with a toughtful, post-apocalyptic chill-groove!

https://soundcloud.com/noisj-nl/dd00065-ragnarok-starving

Also from Ragnarok: a magnificent techno flavoured banger with a vibe that almost becomes 3ball!

https://soundcloud.com/noisj-nl/redsp-08-ragnarok-synaptic

And here a third track from Ragnarok, remixed by The Peoples Republic of Europe, one of the most influential formations in another hybrid genre, industrial hardcore!

https://soundcloud.com/noisj-nl/redsp-08-ragnarok-breathe-the

A genre where dark sounds are living a strond and passionate underground life is techno. There is a network of connected subgenres like doomtechno, dark techno, industrie techno, mainly located in Germany. I can’t cover it all but I can share an example of the amazing stuff that is coming from this underground..

Here brutal fresh release from the Düsseldorf based producer Klangtronik!

The Belgian producer Ethan Fawkes is a producer-dj who stands with one leg in the world of industrial and with the other leg in the world of dark techno and a lot of amazing industrial flavoured techno is being released these days by him and producers around him. I picked this remix by the duo E-Squad, because of the groovy tribal flavoured percussion!

Of course there cannot be a Generation Bass post with dark techno without a major shoutout to Generation Bass godfather Drvg Cvltvre.. Check out this fabulous dark, almost Latin-flavoured percussive techno track!

https://soundcloud.com/drvgcvltvre/drvg-cvltvre-bloodlust

The Colombian producer Luix Spectrum combines percussive dark techno with a rhythmical pattern that comes close to 3ball!

But the most deliciously polyrhythmic percussive dark techno I’ve come across so far is this EP from the Marseille based brothers F. Akissi and M. Akissi!

https://soundcloud.com/alhena-records/al001-fakissi-makissi-no-gain-ep

We’ve seen that there’s a lot of experimentation going on in different dark electronic music scenes, especially with rhythm and percussion, and urban music embracing dark flavours on an ever larger scale. So what about ‘global bass’?

The duo Deadstare is the most outspoken dark-global bass initiative, who referred to their style as a the middle between the Owsla signed, occult-cyberpunk themed black metal dubstep act Phuture Doom (one of my favourite dark music acts, which I couldn’t blogged here because they haven’t released in a while), and global bass! They fuse sounds like cinematic horror ambient, terror and speed- and breakcore with latin rhythms like cumbia and 3ball. This is one of their newest releases that you might have missed: a moombahton rework of one of the tracks from their New EP!

NAAFI signed Mexican avant garde producer LAO made an absolutely stunning 3ball rework of a horror ambient piano track!

The innovative 3ball bass duo Los Innsurgentes dedicated an entire, evil-themed EP last year to energetic dark sounds, drawing from dark trap, metalstep and witch house! This should have received a massive shoutout from us long ago already, but it’s never too late I suppose.. Grab the EP here!

One of the most established subgenres of dark, dystopian global bass fusion is rough kuduro, which we introduced last year with Nazar‘s magnificent Nihil EP! It isn’t bad to reblog a post that almost went unnoticed: this industrial horror vid with a dark ambient-noise kuduro track from avant garde producer OnlyNow a.k.a Kush Arora!

SP Deville is a London-based Portuguese producer with Angolan roots who specialises in hiphop beats, Luso-African styles as well as eclectic bass music with a dark edge. Check out this fabulous track which draws influences from drill, dancehall, kuduro and grime!

https://soundcloud.com/deville-1/boom-shock

I remember from my Sexxy Saturday Cumbia time that there are many amazing dark cumbia tracks out there. This is the newest example I could find: a black metal flavoured electronic cumbia tune from the Argentinian tropical alrounder Fede Trip!

Deliciously dark avant-garde dembow here, from the upcoming eclectic underground formation Santa Muerte!

https://soundcloud.com/svntvmverte/santa-muerte-only-bootleg

Under my new artist name S x m b r a, I try to experiment some different dark global bass blends myself as well. Here a quick demo where I try to capture a typical cyber-goth atmosphere, fused with moombahton. Try to picture a choreography that holds the middle between industrial dance and perreo!

Closing this mega-post with some uncategorisable but mindblowing dark tracks!

iLLu!, dark trap duo from London, released this powerful, apocalyptic DnB track!

Another new trend of 80s inspired electronic underground music you will come to see more often is ‘minimal synth’. Also analog and melodic, but more minimalistic and groovy than synthwave or EBM. Ortrotasce is a musician who is specialised in this sound, which can be mellow and dark. This absolutely perfect, surrealistic underground track is his newst creation!

https://soundcloud.com/ortrotasce/sahara

Alternative hiphop producer Mike Sore, from Warsaw, Poland, makes beats for rappers as well as dark trap, witch house and experimental stuff. This menacing instrumental hiphop tune blows my mind!

https://soundcloud.com/mike-sore/i-ll-ll

Another dark eclectic hiphop producer, Dark User, is one of my most interesting recent finds on Soundcloud. This symphonic-electronic-blastbeat-ambient-industrial track is one of the best things I’ve heard lately!

https://soundcloud.com/dark-user-records/ghost

A third experimental avant garde dark trapper who deserves more attention is AyyJAy, from London. This horroresque, mellow dark pearl of a track is one of my favourites of is productions! Close your yes and feal the fear..

 

Cyber Ghetto is the Most Exciting Thing on the Internet and Ruth Explains What it is [Interview]

RuthMainPic

Good chance you’ve seen it around on Generation Bass (here and here) and for a reason: Cyber Ghetto will be the trend to watch in 2015. We teamed up with Ruth, the forward-looking, upcoming style-icon from Antwerp, Belgium who created the influential tumblr blog Cyber Ghetto, to bring a fresh combination of fashion and music on the dancefloor.

The first edition will be SATURDAY 31 JANUARY, in Zappa, August Leyweg 6 Antwerpen (Belgium). Expect a wild mix of live hip-hop, trap, drill and future bass that will turn you up to the max!!

GET YOUR TICKET HERE!

Headliner GAMEFACE made a promo-mixtape for us with exclusives from his upcoming EP!

https://soundcloud.com/officialgameface/little-set/s-Vexk7

CGFlyers1

LINE-UP:

22.00 – 22.30 > KRULE SADAH (live)

22.30 – 23.45 > BIBISECK

23.45 – 01.00 > RNDM ✯ KDNE

01.00 – 02.15 > DiVi$UAL

02.15 – 03.30 > GAMEFACE

03.30 – 04.45 > JAMAL

04.45 – 06.00 > BANGANAGANGBANGERS

Hosted by: MC FELONIOUS FRO

In the coming weeks, building up towards the event, we will put these artists in the spotlights on Generation Bass!

•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•

For who only reads music blogs: Tumblr is by far most creative melting-pot on the internet and the cradle, or main growing soil, of almost every style innovation over the last five years. It is the place where online micro-genres and aesthetics emerge, acquire a name and a cult-following and spread until they are picked up by the mainstream media or go viral via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The viral waves from kawaii and seapunk to soft-grunge and now health goth, would have been impossible without Tumblr. Cyber ghetto is a promising, upcoming name to be added to this list.

Tumblr is the internet in a nutshell. The fluidness of posting and reposting single images, GIFs, mp3s or short pieces of text, without context creates a chaotic deconstructionism where every combination becomes possible. The uniqueness of Tumblr is in the specific combinations that are made between different pictures, devoid of a fixed, logical coherence. Powerful Tumblr trends have something that resonates on a subconscious level with how many teens today experience their lives.

Cyber ghetto is such a combination, which fuses elements of seapunk, kawaii, grunge, and late 90s early 00s urban fashion, oldskool as well as late hip-hop and electronic music. As Ruth explains on the site: “I took different aspects from different styles I’ve put them together and that makes cyber ghetto.  You’re not necessarily cyber ghetto if you wear a tattoo choker. Sometimes I reblog harajuku or Japanese fashion and Japanese fashion isn’t cyber ghetto even tho they wear platforms.”

The recent rise of platform shoes, tattoo chokers, thick 90s-style cornrows, and tennis skirts, on the web, in music video’s and, slowly, on the streets, is for a major part due to cyber ghetto, in combination with super innovative clothing stores like The Public Image.

CGdoublePic

I asked Ruth to tell me what it takes to ‘be cyber ghetto’..

R: There’s no fixed rule, like a specific ethnicity, background, music or clothing style, which decides whether or not you can call yourself cyber ghetto. It is a combination of the many different things that influence my life. On the blog you see stuff related to trap, hardcore, black culture, tekno or scene, to mention a few. Most important are self-confidence and an obsession with the internet!

Cyber ghetto is all about the turnup life that I’m living. I love going to many different parties, chilling and having a good time. People should have something they can look forward to and free themselves from stress.

GB: How did you come up with the idea?

R: In real life, I am a girl who mainly goes to hardcore, tekno and acid parties but also enjoys listening to hip-hop music. During my teenage years, I’ve always been that girl in class standing out when it comes to clothes. Expressing myself through how I look is my second nature. In daily life, I always combine little elements of all the different music scenes I am involved in.

Cyber ghetto started when I began to make my tumblr more personal, looking for things that represented me and also started to post a lot. I never intended cyber ghetto to become a net-trend, but since it began to attract much attention, it eventually became one. Unfortunately, my original idea also watered down as many people on Tumblr started to copy it, narrowing it down to what they think it is.

It’s not that cyber ghetto IS pink stuff, big booty bitches, weed and trap imagery. Not at all. It may have those things, but at the end of the day, what counts is that they are part of my personal expression, coming straight from my mind. I won’t limit myself.

GB: How, in your experience, does the internet influence the way in which people choose and express their identity?

R: Being on the internet taught me so much over the last years. There are a lot of things you’re not prepared for if you aren’t used to a certain level of attention. In real life, I am a very open person and online to, but I soon found out that many people will criticise and judge things about you that are none of their business. But that didn’t stop me from being the girl who I am and always was. Getting so much positive as well as negative attention on the internet made me a strong person, also in real life. There are lot of people on the internet who change their behaviour in order to pease their followers or fans. I can understand very well why they do it but it’s just not who I am.

GB: What kinds of people have been interested in cyber ghetto so far?

R: Many different kinds of people, which makes me really happy. I get messages from people who are into hardcore, insecure black girls who look up to me because they see that I am comfortable with myself, transgenders, depressed teens with blogs full of black-and-white pictures. But, also brands, artists and online stores. I remember my first cyber ghetto related e-mail and I was really in a shock, suddenly realising that I had created something that people seriously liked.

GB: People sometimes complain that online micro-subcultures can be very alive on the internet but never reach the real world. How is cyber ghetto doing outside on the streets in Antwerp and beyond?

R: Good question. Cyber ghetto is more of an internet-thing than a real-life trend and I like it that way. It’s like you have something that nobody knows about and you don’t really understand if you aren’t part of the Tumblr community. What I did notice is that elements of cyber ghetto are becoming very widespread on Tumblr and that people in real life base their style on Tumblr as a whole rather than just one blog or trend. So you indeed do see tennis skirts, tattoo chokers and platforms finding their way to the streets these days, but that isn’t necessarily part of the cyber ghetto life style.

GB: What can Generation Bass readers expect from you in 2015?

R: A lot, really a lot! People should know that I am enormously determined and never let a chabce go by. I can’t give any details yet but I advise you to keep an eye on me. As a matter of fact, I am e-mailing with some people right now and it’s super exciting. I truly feel like a kid in a candy store who can grab candies for free.

One thing that I can say is: come to Zappa, Antwerp, Saturday the 31st of January.. The turn up is gonna be reaaalllll !!!

•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*

Check out the promo shoot for the party, with clothes from The Public Image >>

CGShoot0

CGShoot1

CGShoot2

CGShoot3

CGShoot4

 

CGShoot5

Find more on Facebook!

•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*

Follow Cyber Ghetto:

Tumblr

Facebook

Soundcloud

Halloween & Dia de Muertos Mega Selection [All Genres]

HalloweenDiaDeMuertos

Last year I wrote two elaborate posts celebrating halloween and the Day of the Dead, going into the similarities and differences of the two. I doubt if I can meet the same level of sophistication in a post again. Therefore here, dedicated to both traditions, an extended selection of more and less dark-edged gems in any kind of genre, which haven’t been posted here so far yet (as far as I know).

See it as a month of posting, jammed into one gigantic roundup.. It’s a long list again, but take some good time for each of them!

First an alround bass halloween-mixtape by the rough Russian tropicalist Insane Fennel!

https://soundcloud.com/insane_fennel/insane-fennel-halloween-mix

Delicious dark-house grooves in the newest edition of the Chicago based avant-garde platform The Doom Cult‘s mixtape series Sonic Ritual, this time featuring Curses* from New York!

https://soundcloud.com/doom-cult/sonic-ritual-006-the-doom-cult-x-curses

And here a magnificent, Andes-flavoured future-Latin mixtape from the Chilean global bass alrounder Señor Chancho!

Here a dark halloween-themed moombahton banger from one of the most promising Dutch global bass producers, DJ Miss Devana!

Halloween 420 edit of a Mexican 3ball classic, by the Chilean moombahtonista STARK!

Nightmare trap from the Dutch alround bass prodigy INDISA, released on the label Pyramyth!

https://soundcloud.com/pyramyths/indisa-slendermans-arrival

An mindblowing dark cyber-experimental banger from avant-garde-trap producer ADAMAS. Check out the video here!

More amazing avant-garde vibes here, from the Norwegian futurist Drippin, via the forward-looking rave label Lit City Trax!

I am always thrilled by the most daring cross-genre experiments. Corroded Master reworked Waka Flocka Flame’s ‘Hard in da Paint’ into delicious cyber-industrial flavoured EBM (= Electronic Body Music, not EDM!!).

https://soundcloud.com/machtkrieg/waka-flocka-flame-hard-in-the-paintcorroded-master-remix

If there’s going to be a fusion of cyber-industrial with reggaeton/moombahton in the near future (there will be, trust me!), this pearl of a track from the unique Mexican producer Sitlaly is already a good fortaste of what it may one day sound like!

https://soundcloud.com/sitlaly/monarka

Then time for two dark-edged moombahton bangers..

First DJ L.O.B.B., which stands for Lots Of Bullets Bulatti, from Rancho Cucamonga (California), drops a deliciously percussive tune with powerful synths!

https://soundcloud.com/lots-of-bullets-bollatti/grinding

Joel Ramirez, from La Paz Bolivia, drops a mindblowing demo of a track that will be released soon!

https://soundcloud.com/joel-ramirezdj/la-lusia-preview

Alma, from Portugal, is a fresh and extremely promising star on the horizon of music.. with only 2 tracks and 17 followers so far, I already know that we are going to see this name all over. Wanna know why, press play and be blown away by some of the sickest dark kuduro you’ve ever heard!!

https://soundcloud.com/almamusica/os-detroia-bela-alma-remix

Dj Doraemon drops another powerful kuduro banger!

https://soundcloud.com/ivan-lima-1/mambo-da-noite

Dj Ly-COox is becoming one of my favourite producers these days! Check out this mystically flavoured afrobeat tune that was released last week!

https://soundcloud.com/dj-lycox-tia-maria-prod/dj-ly-coox-tm-recordz-ngulo-cachiko-new-2014

Anderson Teixeira drops some equally amazing tarraxo!

And Nidia Minaj‘s new, mind-altering grooves are just absolutely jawdropping!

https://soundcloud.com/nidia-minaj/novato-nidia

RuidoconH is a producer I remember from last year when I posted a unique dark cumbia tune from his hands.. Now he is back with an absolutely stunning dark ruidoson production!

In my funk post I told you about the Brazilian experimentalist Joao Pavigo.. Here is his next-level acid 3ball tune!

https://soundcloud.com/joaopavigo/neana-on-the-3ball

And here another experiment, mixing a funk vocal with booming grime!

https://soundcloud.com/joaopavigo/logosxentaota

The Dutch experimentalist DODBB is one of the producers closest to myself when it comes to our love for continuously pushing the boundaries, exploring new cross-fertilisations between different scenes and sounds.. Lately he has been exploring the electrfying, grungy underground sounds of electro-techno, resulting in this two-track mini EP of filthy, industrialistic moombahton! Absolutely beyond next-level future rave beats, invoking images of twerking cyborgs in an abandoned high-tech power station!

Dash Slktr is an alround tropicalist from Cali, Colombia, who released another huge EP earlier this month, via After Mess Recs, an up and coming all-genre underground label which is becoming an ever more important player in music these days!

The main track, ‘colors’, is a dark-edged moombahsoul-twerk tune, reworked into melbourne bounce by the Chilean EDM producer Donner! and into orgastic moombahton by the Mexico City based upcoming name Fresh Prince.

The second track, ‘Pitty’ is an equally dark and heavy moombahton banger. Nozdeer, another talend from Mexico City transformed this one into brutal-yet-uplifting electrotrash. Finally, Cthu-Loops chose a unique percussive, prehispanic-flavoured moombahton, labelled as ‘ancient-tropical’!

https://soundcloud.com/aftermess/sets/dash-slktr-colors-ep

Since we discovered the transcendental deep-tech duo The Gurus, we’ve been in love with their work and mission, both art-wise and music wise. Check out the fresh project they released this month: an extensive, 9-track LP consisting of 2 separate EP’s – ‘Genesis 111’ and ‘The Secret to Liberation’ as well as an exclusive extra track. ‘Genesis 111’ is situated on the deep-thoughtful side of the spectrum, while ‘The Secret to Liberation’ leans slightly more towards a more experimental retro-acid flavour. ‘Ezekiel 25:17’ is an extraordinary jewel that combines a minimal techno beat with subtle organic percussion and a thrillingly heavy vocal samples.. Take some time to listen to these delicious, sophisticated grooves and to be inspired by teachings of great thinkers like Terrence McKenna and Alan Watts!

After my big shoutout, KnowKontrol released another, equally magnificent industrial RnB track this month.. close your eyes and drink in these stunning, emotional vibes!

I’ve been very much into analog synth music as well these days. And high-tech cyberpunk robot Progeny-1 a.k.a. Brian the Lion is one of my favourite artists in this genre. I’ve been receiving lots of appreciation from him as well in terms of likes on my playlists and reposts. More than time to show some love back. Check out this breathtaking, cinematic flavoured mid-tempo that brings you right back to the noire-future as envisioned by the 80s tech avant-garde like Vangelis and the movie Blade Runner!

https://soundcloud.com/progeny_1/embracing-darkness

Black Metal Elitist Earworm is a radical genre-crossing metal-bass project, organised by Caballo. Unique and risky in Latin America, where metal-fans on the one hand and fans of urban-latin sounds like reggaeton and cumbia on the other hand won’t skip a single opportunity to bash each other’s music taste. Their brand new 10-track album, ‘March into the Slaughter’,  which appeared yesterday on Latino Resiste netlabel, throws it all into one blender and presents an insane mix of rindcore, black and death metal sounds fused with grime, dancehall and moombahton!

Get the full album here!

https://soundcloud.com/latinoresiste/black-metal-elitist-earworm-march-into-the-slaughter

Gameface has been massively in the spotlights of Generation Bass over the last months and rightly so. If you haven’t heard it yet, check out his new single here, next-level and dark as always!

HVRXLD, from London, is a producer who deserves a lot more attention and every time he releases something new, I feel that it should be blogged but so far it has always slipped through but that will change in the near future. Here already his most recent EP as a foretaste of what you can expect: an awe-inspiring, hyperfuturistic blend of angelic dreamscapes and crystal-bright 808 drums labelled as ‘artwave’, a genre which he created himself!

https://soundcloud.com/savanh-phaophanit/sets/default-ep

Artwave is an example of the many branches, ‘microgenres’ of underground internet culture, of which vaporwave is by far the most elaborate. While we were busy with zouk-bass, tarraxo and arabic music, we’ve been completely sleeping on vaporwave over here at Generation Bass. Which is too bad because vaporwave, both its music and its art, is becoming one of the major sources of inspiration for many scenes in the world after EDM and all the other categories in general that we’ve known since the 90s. If you’re looking for a definition of vaporwave music, I’d best direct you to the genre’s ultimate classic: ‘Floral Shoppe‘, an album from the experimental audio engineer and graphic designer Vektroid a.k.a. Macintosh Plus which has reached an iconic status in the vaporwave scene.

The Mexico city based alrounder Chickin’ Dómine reworked the mellow chopped ‘n screwed,  hypnagogic 80s mall-sound of the album’s main hit ‘リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー’ into delicious salsa-cumbia!

Yelram Selectah cumbiafied the new single ‘Know What I Want‘ of the Colombian singer-songwriter Kali Uchis!

https://soundcloud.com/yelramselectah/kali-uchis-know-what-i-want

Just two days ago, the cumbia experimentalist Xalistec released this absolutely marvellous, psychedelic cumbia track, dedicated to the dead!

https://soundcloud.com/xalistech/don-chon-el-enterrador-altar-de-muertos

More psychedelic cumbia here from one of the most important exponents of that subgenre, the Argentinian visual artist and experimental producer Tu Guaina!

Let’s finish the post with some more happy vibes now!

The rising Mexican talent Billion Dollars drops another satan bass track that is both dark and euphoric at the same time!

Two of my favourite moombahton producers, the Bogotá based Dj Tombs and LosXL, teamed up for this fantastic, Indian-flavoured moombahton banger!

https://soundcloud.com/losxl/tombs-ft-losxl-rajesh

Fresh and heavy tribal evolution here from Dj Giovanni Rios!

https://soundcloud.com/djgiovanni2011/djgiovanni-rios-soiiir-tribal-evolution

And the one and only Dj Tamalero is also back with a happy club banger, featuring one of the most legendary 3ball MC’s ‘El Pelon del Mikrophone‘!

I want to blog Dasilvio Armindo for a long time now and we’ll definitely see him more in the near future. He is one of the most active kuduro & zouk bass producers in the Netherlands with excursions into genres like moombahton, latinhouse and trap. Check out this great compilation with the best of his recent work!

https://soundcloud.com/dvlet/sets/throwbacks

The legendary moombahton duo from Lops Angeles 2 Deep teamed up with alrounder Deejay Quality for a dancefloor smashing cumbia remix of the stripclub anthem ‘Money on the Floor‘!

https://soundcloud.com/2-deep/too-short-e-40-money-on-the-floor-deejayquality-2-deep-tormenta-tropical-remix

And here the most euphoric cumbia banger of all, the newest release of 3ball giant Dj Gecko, together with Dj Alan Mendoza from Monterrey!

https://soundcloud.com/alan-dee-jay/dejala-sola-dj-gecko-ft-alan-mendoza-official-remix

 

Gameface, BLVCK & Watengwa: Looking Back

GroupPic

Gameface (left), with the singers Pculture and Novena, producer Daudi a.k.a . Daz Naledge and Incubate project leader Maarten (right)

Last month, we announced a collaboration of the Tanzanian hiphop crew Watengwa with the Dutch dark-trappers Gameface and BLVCK, organised by Hivos, Incubate Festival and ourselves. A month later, we look back at the project with Incubate project leader Maarten and Gameface.

“The first surprise was that most of the crew-members of Watengwa didn’t actually come,” Maarten tells me. “They sent a producer and two female singers, who weren’t part of the core-crew but regularly performed with them. But there were no rappers. That made the project a little bit different from what we expected, but not in a bad way of course. More reggae-oriented than strictly hiphop, for example.”

Gameface agrees. “But just the fact that we were able to work with people from a whole different part of the world and be connected in music was already an amazing experience.”

One of the first things that Maarten remembers is the first night. The members of Watengwa had arrived just some hours before and were almost immediately dragged onto the stage to perfom with complete strangers they had barely exchanged a word so far. “But as BLVCK was playing, the producer of Watengwa started MC-ing and interacting with the crown, wich gave a really nice vibe.”

The next day was more quiet, the first moment to get to know each other on a more personal level. “The connection on the level of music was definitely there,” says Gameface. “It was funny to find out that, no matter how different our styles, we both use FL Studio to make our beats for example.” When I asked him if he knew anything about African hiphop or African music in general, he came with a nice story about the experimental track ‘Tribe’ he made a while back. “That track uses a sample from a popular African song and it turned out that one of the singers knew the original and loved the way I give it a second life in this way.” The producer, in turn, just happened to have downloaded some first EDM-trap tunes to his computer.

Gameface is very down to earth about the sometimes controversial relationship between trap music and hiphop. “I see it as a bridge. I’ve been producing hiphop for many years, including a lot of dirty-south beats, the ‘hiphop-version’ of trap. Besides I’ve always loved heavier electronic music like hardstyle and techno. When I first heard about ‘EDM trap’ I liked the idea and nowadays my tracks have become very synthy. The only thing I don’t like is ‘lazer trap’. It’s a sound we’ve been hearing in the Netherlands for s0 many years even before it became big in the USA.. I just can’t stand the sound any longer.”

But there’s a new generation in the air. “Espepially at their performance in Rotterdam, the crowd was very young and they seemed to be quite into the music of Gameface and BLVCK,” tells Maarten, with a tone that reveals that it surprised him, in a positive way. The other crowds they played for were again very different. Both at Inclubate festival and in Amsterdam (where they eventually performed, instead of going to Belgium), the crowd was largely made up of older folks that lingered around after seeing bands, without a specific connection to  hiphop or trap. “But they were genuinely interested in our music and we had them dance,” which was a great experience.

A week together is an increadibly short time to get to know each other, let alone to make enough music together for an actual joint performance. Yet, a start has been made. Gameface started with a beat for Watengwa’s singers to sing to. “I showed them my basic idea,” recalls Gameface, “and they immediately started to improvise, to try what would fit best. And it worked out very well.”

Currently, the track is being finished, put together with the vocals and mastered, to be released soon. We will of course keep you updated!

***

Check out a nice photo report here!

IncubateShow1

IncubateShow2

IncubateShow3

GamefaceWatengwa

BLVCK

GamefaceStudio

Poster

PosterCloseup

SecondShow1

SecondShow2

 

Welcome to GAMEFACE´s Laboratory

GameFaceLab

It has been a couple of weeks already since the Tanzanian hiphop crew Watengwa arrived on Dutch soil to work and perform together with the lords of dark trap: Gameface and BLVCK. A report of this will appear soon on Generation Bass. But while you wait, we’ve got more exciting stuff from Gameface here already!

Since a month, he has a side account on Soundcloud, GameFaceLab, where he drops snippets of experiments and ideas he is working on.. Welcome to the alchemist’s workshop, where vibes and sounds are thrown into the melting-pot, torn apart and recombined, forging new sounds for the future.

These aren’t full tracks yet and many will probably never be released officially. But they’re fantastic! Mostly in Gameface’s signature-style of mystical-dark trap, while some others explore some smoother grooves. But one thing blew my mind more than anything when I saw it on my soundcloud stream yesterday: he actually made a moombahton track (‘Ratchet’) which is just the perfect combination between Gameface’s unique, Indian-flavoured dark specialty and pumping dembow beats!

***

https://soundcloud.com/gfwiplab

Watengwa x Pyramyth (BLVCK & GAMEFACE): Conscious Tanzanian Hiphop Meets Dark Trap

WatengwaPyramyth

With their mindblowing dark, apocalyptic trapGAMEFACE and BLVCK are one of the most promising and innovative Dutch music acts today. As part of this year’s Global Activism project, organised by Hivos in collaboration with Incubate Festival and ourselves at Generation Bass, they now team up with the Tanzanian rap formation Watengwa, one of the most influential voices of the East-African hiphop underground.

“Watengwa is a revolutionary hiphop group of musicians based in the slums of Kijenge ya juu Arusha Tanzania East Afrika. The group was established back in 1990’s by 11 members, but the group spread into many neighborhoods of Arusha.
 
Watengwa lyrics are rooted in real life experiences, with particular attention to the worldview of Afrikans and the global flows that inform their lives. Watengwa considers  themselves a revolutionary army in the fight for positive ways of confronting and surviving street life.  While their music is deeply embedded in Afrikan perspectives and realities, they have been influences by western Hip-hop legends such as MC Hammer, Kool Moe Dee, Busy Bee, Public Enemy, Snoop, Dr. Dre, NWA, Warren G, Salt n Pepa, Heavy D, Wu-tang, Notorious B.I.G, Onyx, Lost boys, Guru, and Immortal Technique.
 
As their songs gained popularity, they received limited radio play; restricted by imbalances of power existing in the music industry. They were denied adequate airtime from radio djays and presenters who demanded bribes, or coerced them to commercialize their style. They were pressured to follow trends in lyrics and beats that prioritized entertainment and club life over education and advocacy. Watengwa refused to engage in bribery and did not waver in their message or sound.  The album sales occurred largely in the slums of Kijenge ya juu and around Tanzania supported by those with similar values and commitments to the voices and struggles of the masses.
Watengwa continues its mission in educating the masses through hip-hop, and raising awareness on issues like drug abuse, empowering women, school corporal punishment, the importance of selfdetermination, and Afrikan identity.”

Last year, they took part in the Paris based East Africa Rise Up project where they toured through France and collaborated with French hiphop artists. Check out this trailers for a documentary about the project that will be released soon!

***

We’ve seen GAMEFACE earlier this week with his Tortured EP, dedicated to the Palestinian struggle, but BLVCK is also back with fresh, brutal heat since my last roundup.

Here a selection from their newest releases..

GAMEFACE blows the trump of doom with this overpowering trap sermon!

https://soundcloud.com/officialgameface/gameface-trapgod

And here a collection of unfinished exclusive demos.. Comment to tell him which one you want him to finish and release!

BLVCK skillfully rips the skin off your skull with these terrifyingly heavy vibes!

And here the newest edition of his Blvck Magic mixtape series, presenting the New Era of dark music!

And via their jointly owned label Pyramyth, they also released this absolutely stunning collab!

https://soundcloud.com/pyramyths/blvck-x-gameface-xanax-pyramyth

Watengwa‘s most recent release is this deliciously laidback tune, featuring the Kenyan rapper Rawbarz Wenyeji who also took part in East Africa Rise Up!

And, also for East Africa Rise Up, this collab with the French rapper Koulirou!

And here I made selection from the fantastic releases available via their soundcloud account!

***

Upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday, Watengwa and Pyramyth will present the fruits of their collaboration in a live performance at Incubate Festival.

And if you can’t be there, they’ll continue their tour through Holland and Belgium in Rotterdam, on Friday, 19 September. Be there!

GAMEFACE – Tortured (Free EP + Interview)

FreeFalestineEP

Now my headman, Generation Bass’ heavywheight Dj UMB just blogged Hekmah’s Arab trap, it’s more than time for a very special EP that has been out since almost two weeks now. UMB doesn’t like trap but I do, and GAMEFACE is one of my most favourite producers ever. ‘Tortured’ is a powerful EP, dedicated to the struggle of the suffering Palestinian people. I reached out to the producer to ask him how this idea came about.

GF: I’ve been following the Israel-Palestine conflict for many years now and what’s going on there is absolutely horrific. Seeing the images of the recent violence made me decide to try to create awareness among my fans by means of an EP.

GB: The tracks have suggestive titles such as ‘Death Castle’, ‘Tortured’ and ‘Joker’. Are there any specific meanings or messages behind these?

GF: In general I’m known for dark music with dark titles so that trend is continued here. Names like ‘Death Castle’ and ‘Joker’ seem to fit into that image. ‘Tortured’ is the title-track, a dark sound with heavy bass. It’s how the track makes me feel, without anything more specific behind it.

GB: The track ‘Gaza’ uses samples of an old Arabic recording that makes me curious. Could you tell anything more about it?

GF: The sample is not an old Arabic but an old Indian sample. I couldn’t find anything Arabic so easily but I thought this kind of sounded like it. Sufficiently to give the listeners a Middle-Eastern feeling.

GB: On the EP, you work together with Hekmah. How did that collaboration arise? What appeals to both of you in each others music?

GF: Hekmah is another artist with a heart for the victims in this conflict, who makes the same kind of music as I do. Besides, he had heard a snippet of ‘Death Castle’ in one of my mixtapes, which got him totally enthusiastic. That eventually led to his featuring.

***

1. Intro

2. Gaza

3. Death Castle feat. Hekmah

4. Tortured

5. Nadia Ali Rapture (Gameface Remix)

6. Joker

7. Outro

Get the EP here for free!

https://soundcloud.com/officialgameface/download-tortured-ep-click-dl-link

 

Why I Love Trap: An Exploration Into the Underground

SkylinePixelsortedResized

There hasn’t been a lot of trap on Generation Bass lately and the stuff that we do post is either from already favourite artists of ours, or has a special global flavour about it. I can’t read other people’s minds but I guess the main reason is the EDM-ification that made ‘trap music’ synonymous with bigroom house with 808 drums, like it made moombahton synonymous with 115 BPM brostep. It may be a matter of taste but for me it feels like a missed opportunity. More than time for a post to show why I love trap so much and think it should be brought back into the underground bass music family.

There is more than one reason why trap is good company for the other global bass genres (and vice-versa) and why it’s good to keep more than one eye on the great things that do happen in corners of the trap scene. It’s a bit tricky to state it like this, not to misrepresent things, but a unified global bass scene doesn’t exist yet. Instead, many of the original genres supported global bass blogs like kuduro, baile funk and much of cumbia, are scenes on their own which often seem to see themselves as close to ‘urban music’. This means that combinations with hiphop, RnB and dancehall are common. Trap then seems a very logical choice and indeed the combination of trap with global genres does happen a lot in mixtapes, on events and in producers’ personal choices.

Also, there is a trap scene emerging these days that is rapidly moving away from EDM, producing music that sounds closer to hiphop and underground bass music than to the festival stuff we’ve all heard, truly erasing the boundaries between electronic music and sophisticated instrumental hiphop.

But enough said now, for all of you who aren’t convinced yet, I made a quick selection of absolutely fantastic recently released that will make you instantly forget that festival trap has ever existed. Be prepared for a massive list of trap without encountering anyting that comes even close to popping molly, turnup, “damn son” or “realtrapshit”!

Just listen to the music and be blown away..

Who else could I start with than with the Dutch halfgod GAMEFACE, one of the most talented producers I’ve ever come across in all scenes and genres of music I’ve been exploring so far. Personally, I even dare to state that this oriental flavoured, mind-altering and breathtakingly dark tune is one of the best pieces of music ever produced!

And just as I am writing this post I realised he released a new masterpiece.. Be ready for an even rougher, again Indian inspired, occult flavoured banger!

The 18 year old, upcoming talent BLVCK is another excellent Dutch trap producer with a heavy, apocalyptic style. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and he told me how in the Netherlands, like in most places, commercial EDM-trap is killing the scene, pushing away the really passionate, groundbreaking quality stuff  into the obscure corners of internet and its online micro-scenes. Here some massive love for his two newest releases, both amazingly powerful dark bangers.

Together with GAMEFACE, BLVCK owns the visionary label & collective Pyramyth that focuses on dark, mystical trap as a whole new movement of dark future-music.. an idea that blows my mind and that I’d be eager to see growing! Check out the collective’s most recent label releases!

BLVCK teamed up with the American duo BVNDITS for this supernaturally powerful trapstep banger with enough occult energy to pierce through the no-man’s-land that separates the living from the dead..

https://soundcloud.com/pyramyths/bvndits-x-blvck-afterlife

Their previous release delivers another dose of chillingly brutal ritualism!

Here is the Belgian promising talent U$IK killing it with similar pitchblack magic!

https://soundcloud.com/pyramyths/uik-scylla

And this bomb from the Derby based producer Sampul is equally powerful and ominous but now spiced up with experimental synth work and absolutely thrilling vocal distortion!

https://soundcloud.com/pyramyths/sampul-her-nose-pyramyth

A while before I started blogging for Generation Bass, I met Apex Rise at a party. I’ve always been a big time fan of everything he has been releasing and ever since I got more into blogging I’ve been looking forward to support it. But trap wasn’t my core business and with so little time left, it had to wait until a special post like this one.. Prepare for one of the sickest 808s you’ve probably ever come across. This banger will absolutely blow your speakers.. along with your mind!

..want more? Here another round of thumping madness!

But if you’re looking for some more mellow vibes, Apex Rise ‘s got them on offer too. This stunningly dreamy, Japanese flavoured track perhaps moves more into the direction of future-beats than trap per se, but is too beautiful not to share!

In terms of style, this two-track EP from a deliberately secret artist that came out on Werk Records in May this year is one of my current favourites. There are few trap productions that are so deliciously rich in polyrhythmic tribal-Latin percussion as these ones, especially the first. These vibes make me long back to the times of our legendary transnational and (post-) apocalyptic mixtape series. We never made such one with trap but if we did, this is a great example of what it would sound like!

If you’re digging this percussive, transnational-flavoured trap with an apocalyptic edge, you really should check out this absolutely fantastic, Arabic-flavoured EP from the London based producer ZAGOR that came out last month via the forward-looking music label and collective Eighth Supply!

https://soundcloud.com/eighth-supply/sets/zagor-suspense-ep

Eighth Supply is a storehouse full of absolutely golden music.. Here just two more examples of what they released over the last weeks only!

A breathtaking, post-apocalyptic ‘Golden Triangle EP ‘, containing the original masterpiece from the Auckland based producer Wayvee and an equally fantastic remix by DVNGLEz .

https://soundcloud.com/eighth-supply/sets/wayvee-golden-triangle

And just a little more than a week ago, DVNGLEzfrom Edmonton Canada, killing it again with this mindblowingly dark preview!

https://soundcloud.com/danglez/voodoosclip

In the third edition of my grand moombahton series I already introduced the Colombian-Dutch hiphop producer Rolito. Next to being one of the most promising hiphop producers I know, he also showed interest in bass music, infusing it with his hiphop background. This huge, hardstyle-inspired trap banger which he made a while ago shows how well he is able to cose the gap between hiphop and underground electronic music. He showed me a couple more phenomenal beats, produced for several rappers, which unfortunately aren’t on his soundcloud for that reason, but which would be equally amazing as trap tunes on their own!

https://soundcloud.com/rolito-1/imakethebeatsaygoboom

Common knowledge for trap-fans but probably not for all Generation Bass readers: one of the most important sources for both vanguardistic underground and more mainstream leaning trap is the Canadian label Defco Records. They’re releasing too much to share everything I’d like to, but make sure you check out this fantastic, experimental EP from the Dutch-Belgian producer LEOPVRD, where trap is a starting point for exploring a great variety of vibes and flavours. Teaser.. there is even a delicious a moombahton track on this EP!

Get it here!

I don’t know what it is but I just can’t get enough of dystopian vibes.. ∆ZTEK, from Chicago, delivers this intensely ominous track that instantly invokes images of an abandoned, industrial mega-city with a heavy, toxic atmosphere!

https://soundcloud.com/aztekbeats/dreary

But when it comes to trap, it can’t get any more dystopian and rough that what the 16 year old producer YUИG ΣIDYZ is doing. His thrillingly intense combination of suicidal death metal vocals with 808 drums and raw bass sounds are one of the most exciting underground music experiments I’ve heard in a while!

https://soundcloud.com/yungeidyz/god-how-can-you-let-this-happen-free-download

https://soundcloud.com/yungeidyz/you-never-said-goodbye

Also dystopian but in a very different way is the vaporwave inspired trap that I’ve been totally in love with over the last months. I could do a whole separate post on vaporwave and I most probably will do that soon but I like it too much to leave it out altogether from an underground-trap post like this one.

Like with witch-house, the relation between vaporwave and trap is all but straightforward. Sure, it often does combine 808 drums and BPM ranges of southern hiphop with electronic sounds, but does that make it trap? Musically, vaporwave can vary between slowed down 80s and 90s late-night commercial and mellow mall music to ‘deep trap’, and originally, the use of trap elements was very symbolical. As Jesse Brinkerhof, whom we will meet below, explained to me.. trap vibes in vaporwave symbolise the excessive luxury portrayed in commercial hiphop as a mirror of our consumerist society. Thence ‘vapor’-wave: the seductive, too-perfect things around us are nothing more than thin air, headed for collapse.. What made it all even more confusing is that the style & aesthetics developed in vaporwave have found their way into hiphop itself in the form of cloudrap and sadboy rap, now commonly associated with hip hop acts like Yung Lean, edited sad selfies in late-90’s internet style and Arizona Green Tea.

But no matter all the history and philosophical stuff, it has created an impressive musical sound that combines deep, lush synth pads, cheesy 80s and 90s commercial samples, trap drums and Japanese anime and kawaii elements in an impressive way. The little selection I made is not even a fraction of everything that’s out there and I haven’t researched it thoroughly enough to be sure that these are the most important names.. but just that you have an impression of the stuff that has been captivating me on soundcloud lately and which I would definitely love to see fusing with other global bass flavours!

3lll is a Japanese-American futurist who produces hyper-futuristic music, inspired by games and Japanese culture. Check out the preview for his upcoming EP, called ‘Holographic Pillar’. The title sharply captures the EP’s cyberdelic atmosphere, where the boundaries between the real and the virtual completely disappear.

https://soundcloud.com/3lll/sets/hall-of-primes-ep-coming-soon

But his most recent preview, a collab with the Las Vegas based producer FALCO, shows how close vaporwave can come to trap.. Check out this pumping banger that is totally cyberpunk and totally very swag at the same time!

Jesse Brinkerhof is a Dutch vaporwave-art specialist who coined the term ‘alter-trap’ as a new generation of trap music that blends the harsh reality of modern life as expressed in hip-hop with the experience of the internet, empty consumerism and teenage nostalgia. Musically this results in a kind of vaporwave that leans more heavily to the trap side, with a dark, dystopian edge. Just check out this playlist with six mindblowing examples of this exciting, vanguardistic sound!

https://soundcloud.com/jessebrinkerhof/sets/schouw

KillahMantis is a vaporwaver about whom I couldn’t find out any more information, but this cyberpunk-styled banger ‘Corrupted Data’ perfectly suits Jesse Brinkerhof’s idea of ‘alter trap’ and just had to be included!

https://soundcloud.com/killahmantis/corrupted-data

The London based producer HVRXLD pushes his music under the tag ‘artwave’. I haven’t researched a definition yet but it seems to be a less dystopian form of vaporwave that regards the hyper-perfect cyberworld with a stunning almost helpless type of awe..

https://soundcloud.com/savanh-phaophanit/neogene-hvrxld-rentaroexe

idle ≟, like HVRXLD another member of the 1NF1N1T1 Corp. collective, is again more dystopian in style.. the wonderful, subtly apocalyptic atmosphere of this tune feels like an approaching thunderstorm after a drowzy summer day..

BLACKVOODOO is a collective consisting of both producers and rappers that leans a bit more to the hiphop side and usually it’s hard to tell whether what you’re listening to should be classified as cloudrap, vaporwave or trap. One of the co-owners of the collective as well as one of my personal favourites GreyscaleSound. No matter how much I love these hyper-futuristic sounds, one of the problems with some vaporwave trap is that it starts sounding all the same after a while, but GreyscaleSound knows very well how to keep it diverse. Check out this sweet tune that is equally futuristic but now infused with a more vivid, deephouse flavoured groove!

https://soundcloud.com/greyscalesoundmassive/aqwav

I’ll finish with Ritchie Muir, a young, upcoming talent from Aberdeen (Scotland) with a very unique style. It’s kindof in between future beats, vaporwave and chill-trap yet at the same time different from all those, making subtle use of delicious percussion and chimes while going for much softer 808 drums. He’s best known for his beautiful rework of radiohead’s ‘Bloom’, which was successfully promoted to reach 15K plays and already exceeds 17K plays by now. Here some extra love from Generation Bass!

His latest release from a couple of weeks back, a collab with Ylla, has a slightly darker, tribal-ambient touch to it, which totally takes my breath and makes me replay it over and over again!

https://soundcloud.com/ritchiemuir/bloodline